If you liked Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, then you will certainly appreciate C. B. Strike by J. K. Rowling aka Robert Galbraith. Thus far, four of her Cormoran Strike books are adapted, available through HBO Max. (That subscription you bought for Wonder Woman 84 now comes in handy.) Each book is a series ranging from 2 to 4 episodes, one hour each. Series One is the investigation of a suicide by a supermodel. But, nothing is simple for C. B. Strike.
First, C. B. Strike lost a leg in the Afghan War. His rock star father married his supermodel mother. He’s estranged from his father, his mother deceased. Strike and his fiancee, Charlotte Campbell, are at odds. His debts pile up and he can’t keep a secretary. The only man left who will hire him is the brother of a deceased friend. John Bristow also just happens to be the brother to adopted sister, Lula Landry. D. I. Eric Wardle is certain that despondent Lula jumped off the balcony to her death. The Cuckoo’s Calling takes you into the world of high fashion in London, and a few pubs. Rowling spins a good yarn, as you might expect. I give C. B. Strike 4.0 Gavels and it receives a very fine 8.1/10 IMDB score for the first series with an 84% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Temp Robin Ellacott arrives at the office of C. B. Strike to the sounds of Charlotte Campbell trashing his office. Undeterred, Robin remains, interested in the type of work, and even more tired of interviewing for jobs. Strike, skeptical of Bristow’s suspicions, needs the 1000 pounds. The concierge confirms no one entered nor left Lula’s apartment. Besides, any possible suspects have rock solid alibis. But, why did a downstairs neighbor claim to hear a fight, then change her statement? Why did Lula’s uncle threaten Strike to stay away from that witness? As they say, the plot thickens.
Is Cormoran Strike good practice for being Orson Welles in Mank? By the way, Tom Burke is not an amputee, but hobbles around with great skill. Likewise, his Strike is a fine mixture of strength and pain. From Lucrezia Borgia to Lady Chatterley to Bonnie Parker, Holliday Grainger (Tulip Fever) adds to her list of impressive roles as Robin Ellacott. Superficially, she is Strike’s secretary, but more like an assistant, equal in her intellect and guile. Will their be romance in the office?
C. B. Strike is unafraid to twist a few arms. He will use a photo of a witness entering a hotel arm-in-arm with a man not her husband for a “bit of shock and awe.” Another quickly turns over a tape of a private conversation rather than face the niceties of British justice. Still, notwithstanding his many shortcomings, above all, C. B. Strike seems like a decent fellow.
“The seven hours are pleasingly old-school, too: no gratuitous violence, a lot of character development and the crimes wrap up like tidy parcels.” The Toronto Star
“As with the book, I’m not sure I would have been so drawn to it if it hadn’t been for Rowling’s name. But such is the wonder of branding. Now that I’m here I can see myself sticking around for the long term.” The Daily Telegraph
No Harry Potter magic here, rather the art of Rowling’s craft. I can see myself sticking around, too!