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Characters / The Cuckoo's Calling

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This page is for characters introduced in the novel The Cuckoo's Calling. For characters who appear across the series see here.

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The Bristow Family

    Lula Landry 

Lula Landry

A world famous supermodel who died three months prior to the events of the novel.


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    John Bristow 

John Bristow

Lula Landry’s adopted brother and the man who hires Cormoran Strike to investigate her death.


  • Ambiguous Disorder: It becomes clear towards the end of the novel that John Bristow is not exactly right in the head.
  • Cain and Abel: John actually kills both of his favoured siblings. Magazines apparently take note.
  • Detective Patsy: A classic example in John Bristow.
  • Enfant Terrible: He murdered his brother when he was very young.
  • Mama's Boy: Distressing his dying mother is a sure way to send him into barely concealed hysterics.
  • Never Suicide: He is absolutely convinced that his sister did not kill herself. With good reason. He was the one that killed her.
  • Profiling: John Bristow puts a special emphasis on a black man filmed acting suspiciously around the scene and time of his sister's suspicious suicide, nicknamed The Runner. His uncle Tony, who has had a great influence on the boy, is a total bigot. But actually, Bristow knows perfectly well who The Runner is — the guy with a legitimate claim to Lula Landry's inheritance — and is trying to frame him.
  • The Unfavorite: The degree of attention his parents devoted first to Charlie and then to Lula made him feel this way, which drives him to kill them.

    Charlie Bristow 

Charlie Bristow

Cormoran Strike’s childhood friend who died when he was a little kid. John’s Bristow’s brother.


  • Posthumous Character: He is long dead by the time the story starts, due to falling off a cliff he was told explicitly not to go to. It was John Bristow's doing.

    Lady Bristow 

Lady Yvette Landry Bristow

The adoptive mother of Charlie, John, and Lula.


    Tony Landry 

Tony Landry

Lady Bristow’s brother and uncle to John and Lula.


  • Jerkass: Despite his impressive appearance, he is a thoroughly unpleasant individual.
  • Racist Grandma: It doesn’t take much poking to find out how much of a bigot he is. Starting with his disapproval of his sister adopting a mixed-race child. The fact that John murdered Charlie might have something to do with it.

     Alison 

Alison

John Bristow’s girlfriend.


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Lula Landry's social circle

     Evan Duffield 

Evan Duffield

Lula’s on-again off-again musician boyfriend.


  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Before Lula's death was ruled a suicide, the press practically crucified him for it.
  • Hidden Depths: Once Strike actually gets to talk to him, he turns out to be far more levelheaded than his public image would indicate, being truly devastated by Lula’s death.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: The press paints him as the embodiment of this trope, but in reality he is not that bad.

     Guy Somé 

Guy Somé

A famous designer and Lula’s close friend.


  • Cluster F-Bomb: In a book filled with characters who swear, he is the biggest offender.
  • Gay Best Friend: He was this for Lula, though he's devoid of most of the stereotypes.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Duffield claims that he was in love with Lula, despite being gay, in an If It's You, It's Okay sense. What is clear is that Guy loathes Duffield and hated Lula dating him.
  • Hidden Depths: His Camp Gay style is mostly an act, and Cormoran names him as "sharp". Moreover, of all Lula's friends, he's the one who was closest to the truth behind her death; he knew she didn't kill herself, he knew that she was obsessed with finding her paternal family, and he knew that John really, really wanted her fortune. His blind hatred for Evan prevents him from connecting the dots, though.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: The narration usually notes whether his first name is being pronounced like the English "gai" or French "ghee". Strike deliberately switches back and forth depending on the social class of the person he's questioning.

     Ciara Porter 

Ciara Porter

A famous model and Lula’s friend.


  • Girl of the Week: She has a one-night stand with Strike, which helps him to start recovering from his breakup with Charlotte.
  • Informed Flaw: Virtually everyone describes her as a combination of Dumb Blonde and Alpha Bitch. When Strike meets her, she's a bit fluffy, but is otherwise perfectly pleasant and one of the few people to be completely honest with him.
  • Hidden Depths: She quotes Oscar Wilde and wants to take a literature course.

     Freddy Bestigui 

Freddy Bestigui

A film producer who lives in the same building as Lula Landry.


  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: He spends most of the novel hindering Strike’s investigation, with good reason.
  • Buy Them Off: To the many women he's wronged.
  • Jerkass: One of the few things most of the characters agree on is the fact that Freddy Bestegui is an absolute asshole.
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     Tansy Bestigui 

Tansy Bestigui

Freddy’s wife and a key witness.


  • Attention Whore: The press and the police eventually come to consider her this, dismissing her testimony out of hand.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She's money-hungry and plastic to the core, but even she can't quite bury her conscience when it comes to the death of a young woman. Despite Freddy's best efforts to buy her silence, she was still on the verge of confessing to his abuse and to what really happened the night of the murder.
  • Gold Digger: It’s pretty obvious that the only reason she married Freddy was because of his money.

     Deeby Macc 

Deeby Macc

An American rapper who was supposed to move into Lula’s building the night of her death.


  • The Ghost: He is mentioned a lot by almost every character. However, the closest he comes to appearing in the flesh is a YouTube interview Cormoran and Robin watch.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His impending arrival at Lula’s building proves instrumental in the way the murder was committed.

    Rochelle Onifade 

Rochelle Onifade

A friend of Lula’s from rehab.


  • All Love Is Unrequited: Has quite the crush on Kieran. He doesn't even remember her name.
  • The Confidant: She is the only person in her life Lula is sure will never blab about her to the press. Nonetheless, she's kind of a gold-digging scumbag, and the trope is ultimately subverted when she's shown to indeed be selling Lula's secrets — just not to the press.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: She's extremely bitter and vicious towards nearly everyone, and none of Lula's friends have a good word for her.
  • Killed Off for Real: Murdered by Bristow after he realized that she was capable of pointing Strike towards Lula's will.
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