I am so happy that JK Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling.
Not happy for her. Happy for me. Because Heavens to Betsy I’m adoring it. This might not sound all that strange to those of you who know me. After all, I was a huge Harry Potter nerd, and I raved about The Casual Vacancy, too. But it is surprising if you are my lovely former boss at Fullers Bookshop, Cat, or my mother, or any of the other people to whom I have declared, ever since my teens, “I don’t read crime fiction.”
My mother is a huge fan of crime novels and it is because of this – or, rather, her predilection for the more grisly thrillers of Patricia Cornwell and her ilk – that I have always declared myself “not a fan of crime.”
Because those books scared the bejeepers out of thirteen-year-old me.
See, I’d read Agatha Christie and loved her, so I’d assumed my mum’s forensic books would be a piece of cake.
Not so. I didn’t sleep for weeks after reading only one chapter, and I swore off crime for life.
Then Stieg Larsson came about and, of course, working in a bookshop at the time, I had to be au fait with the current literary flavour of the month.
I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It scared the bejeepers out of twenty-nine-year-old me.
And I swore off crime again.
Then, last week, JK Rowling was revealed as the author of a non-best-selling but critically acclaimed detective thriller. And, being the huge JK fan I am (I even went on a pilgrimage to the Elephant Cafe in Edinburgh, so I could sit where she sat to write Harry Potter), I just had to get me a copy.
As I was in woop woop (AKA the in-laws’ property at Aberdeen, behind Latrobe), when the announcement was made, and nowhere near anything resembling a bookshop, I was forced to download an eBook copy (*winces and promises to buy a paper copy very soon, bookseller friends*).
I began reading straight away.
And now …
I am hooked. It is a fabulously written, tightly-plotted page-turner, with well-crafted, believable characters and a mystery in which I am utterly enthralled.
I. Love. This. Book.
So, my question is, oh Actual Readers Of Crime, once I’ve finished TCC (which won’t be for the next couple of days as I’m savouring it slowly. And, also, Tiger), where do I go next? What is it similar to? Which authors have influenced JK?
I NEED MORE CRIME!
But nothing like Patricia Cornwell, please. She scares the bejeepers out of me.