Troubled Blood


By Robert Galbraith

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In the epic fifth installment in this “compulsively readable” (People) series, Galbraith’s “irresistible hero and heroine” (USA Today) take on the decades-old cold case of a missing doctor, one which may be their grisliest yet.

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough—who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.
Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one forty years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.
As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. And they learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly . . .



Then came the iolly Sommer…

Edmund Spenser

The Faerie Queene


And such was he, of whom I haue to tell,

The champion of true Iustice, Artegall…

Edmund Spenser

The Faerie Queene

“You’re a Cornishman, born and bred,” said Dave Polworth irritably. “‘Strike’ isn’t even your proper name. By rights, you’re a Nancarrow. You’re not going to sit here and say you’d call yourself English?”

The Victory Inn was so crowded on this warm August evening that drinkers had spilled outside onto the broad stone steps which led down to the bay. Polworth and Strike were sitting at a table in the corner, having a few pints to celebrate Polworth’s thirty-ninth birthday. Cornish nationalism had been under discussion for twenty minutes, and to Strike it felt much longer.

“Would I call myself English?” he mused aloud. “No, I’d probably say British.”

“Fuck off,” said Polworth, his quick temper rising. “You wouldn’t. You’re just trying to wind me up.”

The two friends were physical opposites. Polworth was short and spare as a jockey, weathered and prematurely lined, his sunburned scalp visible through his thinning hair. His T-shirt was crumpled, as though he had pulled it off the floor or out of a washing basket, and his jeans were ripped. On his left forearm was tattooed the black and white cross of St. Piran; on his right hand was a deep scar, souvenir of a close encounter with a shark.

His friend Strike resembled an out-of-condition boxer, which in fact he was; a large man, well over six feet tall, with a slightly crooked nose, his dense dark hair curly. He bore no tattoos and, in spite of the perpetual shadow of the heavy beard, carried about him that well-pressed and fundamentally clean-cut air that suggested ex-police or ex-military.

“You were born here,” Polworth persisted. “So you’re Cornish.”

“Trouble is, by that standard, you’re a Brummie.”

“Fuck off!” yelped Polworth again, genuinely stung. “I’ve been here since I was two months old and my mum’s a Trevelyan. It’s identity—what you feel here,” and Polworth thumped his chest over his heart. “My mum’s family goes back centuries in Cornwall—”

“Yeah, well, blood and soil’s never been my—”

“Did you hear about the last survey they done?” said Polworth, talking over Strike. “‘What’s your ethnic origin?’ they asked, and half —half—ticked ‘Cornish’ instead of ‘English.’ Massive increase.”

“Great,” said Strike. “What next? Boxes for Dumnones and Romans?”

“Keep using that patronizing fucking tone,” said Polworth, “and see where it gets you. You’ve been in London too fucking long, boy… There’s nothing wrong with being proud of where you came from. Nothing wrong with communities wanting some power back from Westminster. The Scots are gonna lead the way, next year. You watch. When they get independence, that’ll be the trigger. Celtic peoples right across the country are going to make their move.”

“Want another one?” he added, gesturing toward Strike’s empty pint glass.

Strike had come out to the pub craving a respite from tension and worry, not to be harangued about Cornish politics. Polworth’s allegiance to Mebyon Kernow, the nationalist party he’d joined at sixteen, appeared to have gained a greater hold over him in the year or so since they had last seen each other. Dave usually made Strike laugh like almost nobody else, but he brooked no jokes upon Cornish independence, a subject that for Strike had all the appeal of soft furnishings or train-spotting. For a second Strike considered saying that he needed to get back to his aunt’s house, but the prospect of that was almost more depressing than his old friend’s invective against supermarkets that resisted putting the cross of St. Piran on goods of Cornish origin.

“Great, thanks,” he said, passing his empty glass to Dave, who headed up to the bar, nodding left and right to his many acquaintances.

Left alone at the table, Strike’s eyes roamed absently over the pub he’d always considered his local. It had changed over the years, but was still recognizably the place in which he and his Cornish mates had met in their late teens. He had an odd double impression of being exactly where he belonged, and where he’d never belonged, of intense familiarity and of separateness.

As his gaze moved aimlessly from timber floor to nautical prints, Strike found himself looking directly into the large, anxious eyes of a woman standing at the bar with a friend. She had a long, pale face and her dark, shoulder-length hair was streaked with gray. He didn’t recognize her, but he’d been aware for the past hour that certain locals were craning their necks to look at him, or else trying to catch his eye. Looking away, Strike took out his mobile and pretended to be texting.

Acquaintances had a ready excuse for conversation, if he showed the slightest sign of encouraging them, because everyone in St. Mawes seemed to know that his aunt Joan had received a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer ten days previously, and that he, his half-sister, Lucy, and Lucy’s three sons had hastened at once to Joan and Ted’s house to offer what support they could. For a week now he’d been fielding inquiries, accepting sympathy and politely declining offers of help every time he ventured out of the house. He was tired of finding fresh ways of saying “Yes, it looks terminal and yes, it’s shit for all of us.”

Polworth pushed his way back to the table, carrying two fresh pints.

“There you go, Diddy,” he said, resuming his bar stool.

The old nickname hadn’t been bestowed, as most people assumed, in ironic reference to Strike’s size, but derived from “didicoy,” the Cornish word for gypsy. The sound of it softened Strike, reminding him why his friendship with Polworth was the most enduring of his life.

Thirty-five years previously, Strike had entered St. Mawes Primary School a term late, unusually large for his age and with an accent that was glaringly different from the local burr. Although he’d been born in Cornwall, his mother had spirited him away as soon as she’d recovered from the birth, fleeing into the night, baby in her arms, back to the London life she loved, flitting from flat to squat to party. Four years after Strike’s birth, she’d returned to St. Mawes with her son and with her newborn, Lucy, only to take off again in the early hours of the morning, leaving Strike and his half-sister behind.

Precisely what Leda had said in the note she left on the kitchen table, Strike had never known. Doubtless she’d been having a spell of difficulty with a landlord or a boyfriend, or perhaps there was a music festival she particularly wanted to attend: it became difficult to live exactly as she pleased with two children in tow. Whatever the reason for her lengthening absence, Leda’s sister-in-law, Joan, who was as conventional and orderly as Leda was flighty and chaotic, had bought Strike a uniform and enrolled him in the local school.

The other four-and-a-half-year-olds had gawped when he was introduced to the class. A few of them giggled when the teacher said his first name, Cormoran. He was worried by this school business, because he was sure that his mum had said she was going to “home school” him. He’d tried to tell Uncle Ted that he didn’t think his mum would want him to go, but Ted, normally so understanding, had said firmly that he had to, so there he was, alone among strangers with funny accents. Strike, who’d never been a great crier, had sat down at the old roll-top desk with a lump like an apple in his throat.

Why Dave Polworth, pocket don of the class, had decided to befriend the new boy had never been satisfactorily explained, even to Strike. It couldn’t have been out of fear of Strike’s size, because Dave’s two best friends were hefty fishermen’s sons, and Dave was in any case notorious as a fighter whose viciousness was inversely proportional to his height. By the end of that first day Polworth had become both friend and champion, making it his business to impress upon their classmates all the reasons that Strike was worthy of their respect: he was a Cornishman born, a nephew to Ted Nancarrow of the local lifeguard, he didn’t know where his mum was and it wasn’t his fault if he spoke funny.

Ill as Strike’s aunt was, much as she had enjoyed having her nephew to stay for a whole week and even though he’d be leaving the following morning, Joan had virtually pushed him out of the house to celebrate “Little Dave’s” birthday that evening. She placed immense value on old ties and delighted in the fact that Strike and Dave Polworth were still mates, all these years later. Joan counted the fact of their friendship as proof that she’d been right to send him to school over his feckless mother’s wishes and proof that Cornwall was Strike’s true home, no matter how widely he might have wandered since, and even though he was currently London-based.

Polworth took a long pull on his fourth pint and said, with a sharp glance over his shoulder at the dark woman and her blonde friend, who were still watching Strike,

“Effing emmets.”

“And where would your garden be,” asked Strike, “without tourists?”

“Be ansom,” said Polworth promptly. “We get a ton of local visitors, plenty of repeat business.”

Polworth had recently resigned from a managerial position in an engineering firm in Bristol to work as head gardener in a large public garden a short distance along the coast. A qualified diver, an accomplished surfer, a competitor in Ironman competitions, Polworth had been relentlessly physical and restless since childhood, and time and office work hadn’t tamed him.

“No regrets, then?” Strike asked.

“Fuck, no,” said Polworth fervently. “Needed to get my hands dirty again. Need to get back outside. Forty next year. Now or never.”

Polworth had applied for the new job without telling his wife what he was doing. Having been offered the position, he’d quit his job and gone home to announce the fait accompli to his family.

“Penny come round, has she?” Strike asked.

“Still tells me once a week she wants a divorce,” Polworth answered indifferently. “But it was better to present her with the fact, than argue the toss for five years. It’s all worked out great. Kids love the new school, Penny’s company let her transfer to the office in the Big City,” by which Polworth meant Truro, not London. “She’s happy. Just doesn’t want to admit it.”

Strike privately doubted the truth of this statement. A disregard for inconvenient facts tended to march hand in hand with Polworth’s love of risk and romantic causes. However, Strike had problems enough of his own without worrying about Polworth’s, so he raised his fresh pint and said, hoping to keep Polworth’s mind off politics:

“Well, many happy returns, mate.”

“Cheers,” said Polworth, toasting him back. “What d’you reckon to Arsenal’s chances, then? Gonna qualify?”

Strike shrugged, because he feared that discussing the likelihood of his London football club securing a place in the Champions League would lead back to a lack of Cornish loyalties.

“How’s your love life?” Polworth asked, trying a different tack.

“Non-existent,” said Strike.

Polworth grinned.

“Joanie reckons you’re gonna end up with your business partner. That Robin girl.”

“Is that right?” said Strike.

“Told me all about it when I was round there, weekend before last. While I was fixing their Sky Box.”

“They didn’t tell me you’d done that,” said Strike, again tipping his pint toward Polworth. “That was good of you, mate, cheers.”

If he’d hoped to deflect his friend, he was unsuccessful.

“Both of ’em. Her and Ted,” said Polworth, “both of ’em reckon it’s Robin.”

And when Strike said nothing, Polworth pressed him, “Nothing going on, then?”

“No,” said Strike.

“How come?” asked Polworth, frowning again. As with Cornish independence, Strike was refusing to embrace an obvious and desirable objective. “She’s a looker. Seen her in the paper. Maybe not on a par with Milady Berserko,” Polworth acknowledged. It was the nickname he had long ago bestowed on Strike’s ex-fiancée. “But on the other hand, she’s not a fucking nutcase, is she, Diddy?”

Strike laughed.

“Lucy likes her,” said Polworth. “Says you’d be perfect together.”

“When were you talking to Lucy about my love life?” asked Strike, with a touch less complaisance.

“Month or so ago,” said Polworth. “She brought her boys down for the weekend and we had them all over for a barbecue.”

Strike drank and said nothing.

“You get on great, she says,” said Polworth, watching him.

“Yeah, we do,” said Strike.

Polworth waited, eyebrows raised and looking expectant.

“It’d fuck everything up,” said Strike. “I’m not risking the agency.”

“Right,” said Polworth. “Tempted, though?”

There was a short pause. Strike carefully kept his gaze averted from the dark woman and her companion, who he was sure were discussing him.

“There might’ve been moments,” he admitted, “when it crossed my mind. But she’s going through a nasty divorce, we spend half our lives together as it is and I like having her as a business partner.”

Given their longstanding friendship, the fact that they’d already clashed over politics and that it was Polworth’s birthday, he was trying not to let any hint of resentment at this line of questioning show. Every married person he knew seemed desperate to chivvy others into matrimony, no matter how poor an advertisement they themselves were for the institution. The Polworths, for instance, seemed to exist in a permanent state of mutual animosity. Strike had more often heard Penny refer to her husband as “that twat” than by his name, and many was the night when Polworth had regaled his friends in happy detail of the ways in which he’d managed to pursue his own ambitions and interests at the expense of, or over the protests of, his wife. Both seemed happiest and most relaxed in the company of their own sex, and on those rare occasions when Strike had enjoyed hospitality at their home, the gatherings always seemed to follow a pattern of natural segregation, the women congregating in one area of the home, the men in another.

“And what happens when Robin wants kids?” asked Polworth.

“Don’t think she does,” said Strike. “She likes the job.”

“They all say that,” said Polworth dismissively. “What age is she now?”

“Ten years younger than us.”

“She’ll want kids,” said Polworth confidently. “They all do. And it happens quicker for women. They’re up against the clock.”

“Well, she won’t be getting kids with me. I don’t want them. Anyway, the older I get, the less I think I’m the marrying kind.”

“Thought that myself, mate,” said Polworth. “But then I realized I’d got it all wrong. Told you how it happened, didn’t I? How I ended up proposing to Penny?”

“Don’t think so,” said Strike.

“I never told you about the whole Tolstoy thing?” asked Polworth, surprised at this omission.

Strike, who’d been about to drink, lowered his glass in amazement. Since primary school, Polworth, who had a razor-sharp intelligence but despised any form of learning he couldn’t put to immediate, practical use, had shunned all printed material except technical manuals. Misinterpreting Strike’s expression, Polworth said,

“Tolstoy. He’s a writer.”

“Yeah,” said Strike. “Thanks. How does Tolstoy—?”

“Telling you, aren’t I? I’d split up with Penny the second time. She’d been banging on about getting engaged, and I wasn’t feeling it. So I’m in this bar, telling my mate Chris about how I’m sick of her telling me she wants a ring—you remember Chris? Big guy with a lisp. You met him at Rozwyn’s christening.

“Anyway, there’s this pissed older guy at the bar on his own, bit of a ponce in his corduroy jacket, wavy hair, and he’s pissing me off, to be honest, because I can tell he’s listening, and I ask him what the fuck he’s looking at and he looks me straight in the eye,” said Polworth, “and he says: ‘You can only carry a weight and use your hands, if you strap the weight to your back. Marry, and you get the use of your hands back. Don’t marry, and you’ll never have your hands free for anything else. Look at Mazankov, at Krupov. They’ve ruined their careers for the sake of women.’

“I thought Mazankov and Krupov were mates of his. Asked him what the fuck he was telling me for. Then he says he’s quoting this writer, Tolstoy.

“And we got talking and I tell you this, Diddy, it was a life-changing moment. The lightbulb went on,” said Polworth, pointing at the air over his balding head. “He made me see it clearly. The male predicament, mate. There I am, trying to get my hole on a Thursday night, heading home alone again, poorer, bored shitless; I thought of the money I’ve spent chasing gash, and the hassle, and whether I want to be watching porn alone at forty, and I thought, this is the whole point. What marriage is for. Am I going to do better than Penny? Am I enjoying talking shit to women in bars? Penny and me get on all right. I could do a hell of a lot worse. She’s not bad-looking. I’d have my hole already at home, waiting for me, wouldn’t I?”

“Pity she can’t hear this,” said Strike. “She’d fall in love with you all over again.”

“I shook that poncey bloke’s hand,” said Polworth, ignoring Strike’s sarcasm. “Made him write me down the name of the book and all. Went straight out that bar, got a taxi to Penny’s flat, banged on the door, woke her up. She was fucking livid. Thought I’d come round because I was pissed, couldn’t get anything better and wanted a shag. I said, ‘No, you dozy cow, I’m here because I wanna marry you.’”

“And I’ll tell you the name of the book,” said Polworth. “Anna Karenina.” He drained his pint. “It’s shit.”

Strike laughed.

Polworth belched loudly, then checked his watch. He was a man who knew a good exit line and had no more time for prolonged leave-taking than for Russian literature.

“Gonna get going, Diddy,” he said, getting to his feet. “If I’m back before half eleven, I’m on for a birthday blowie—which is the whole point I’m making, mate. Whole point.”

Grinning, Strike accepted Polworth’s handshake. Polworth told Strike to convey his love to Joan and to call him next time he was down, then squeezed his way out of the pub, and disappeared from view.


Heart, that is inly hurt, is greatly eas’d

With hope of thing, that may allay his Smart…

Edmund Spenser

The Faerie Queene

Still grinning at Polworth’s story, Strike now realized that the dark woman at the bar was showing signs of wanting to approach him. Her spectacled blonde companion appeared to be advising against it. Strike finished his pint, gathered up his wallet, checked his cigarettes were still in his pocket and, with the assistance of the wall beside him, stood up, making sure his balance was everything it should be before trying to walk. His prosthetic leg was occasionally uncooperative after four pints. Having assured himself that he could balance perfectly well, he set off toward the exit, giving unsmiling nods to those few locals whom he could not ignore without causing offense, and reached the warm darkness outside without being importuned.

The wide, uneven stone steps that led down toward the bay were still crowded with drinkers and smokers. Strike wove his way between them, pulling out his cigarettes as he went.

It was a balmy August night and tourists were still strolling around the picturesque seafront. Strike was facing a fifteen-minute walk, part of it up a steep slope, back to his aunt and uncle’s house. On a whim he turned right, crossed the street and headed for the high stone wall separating the car park and ferry point from the sea. Leaning against it, he lit a cigarette and stared out over the smoke gray and silver ocean, becoming just one more tourist in the darkness, free to smoke quietly without having to answer questions about cancer, deliberately postponing the moment when he’d have to return to the uncomfortable sofa that had been his bed for the past six nights.

On arrival, Strike had been told that he, the childless single man and ex-soldier, wouldn’t mind sleeping in the sitting room “because you’ll sleep anywhere.” She’d been determined to shut down the possibility, mooted by Strike on the phone, that he might check into a bed and breakfast rather than stretch the house to capacity. Strike’s visits were rare, especially in conjunction with his sister and nephews, and Joan wanted to enjoy his presence to the full, wanted to feel that she was, once again, the provider and nurturer, currently weakened by her first round of chemotherapy though she might be.

So the tall and heavy Strike, who’d have been far happier on a camp bed, had lain down uncomplainingly every night on the slippery, unyielding mass of satin-covered horsehair, to be woken each morning by his young nephews, who routinely forgot that they had been asked to wait until eight o’clock before barging into the sitting room. At least Jack had the decency to whisper apologies every time he realized that he’d woken his uncle. The eldest, Luke, clattered and shouted his way down the narrow stairs every morning and merely sniggered as he dashed past Strike on his way to the kitchen.

Luke had broken Strike’s brand-new headphones, which the detective had felt obliged to pretend didn’t matter in the slightest. His eldest nephew had also thought it amusing to run off into the garden with Strike’s prosthetic leg one morning, and to stand waving it at his uncle through the window. When Luke finally brought it back, Strike, whose bladder had been very full and who was incapable of hopping up the steep stairs to the only toilet, had delivered Luke a quiet telling-off that had left the boy unusually subdued for most of the morning.

Meanwhile, Joan told Strike every morning, “you slept well,” without a hint of inquiry. Joan had a lifelong habit of subtly pressurizing the family into telling her what she wanted to hear. In the days when Strike was sleeping in his office and facing imminent insolvency (facts that he had admittedly not shared with his aunt and uncle), Joan had told him happily “you’re doing awfully well” over the phone, and it had felt, as it always did, unnecessarily combative to challenge her optimistic declaration. After his lower leg had been blown off in Afghanistan, a tearful Joan had stood at his hospital bed as he tried to focus through a fog of morphine, and told him “You feel comfortable, though. You aren’t in pain.” He loved his aunt, who’d raised him for significant chunks of his childhood, but extended periods in her company made him feel stifled and suffocated. Her insistence on the smooth passing of counterfeit social coin from hand to hand, while uncomfortable truths were ignored and denied, wore him out.

Something gleamed in the water—sleek silver and a pair of soot-black eyes: a seal was turning lazily just below Strike. He watched its revolutions in the water, wondering whether it could see him and, for reasons he couldn’t have explained, his thoughts slid toward his partner in the detective agency.

He was well aware that he hadn’t told Polworth the whole truth about his relationship with Robin Ellacott, which, after all, was nobody else’s business. The truth was that his feelings contained nuances and complications that he preferred not to examine. For instance, he had a tendency, when alone, bored or low-spirited, to want to hear her voice.

He checked his watch. She was having a day off, but there was an outside chance she’d still be awake and he had a decent pretext for texting: Saul Morris, their newest subcontractor, was owed his month’s expenses, and Strike had left no instructions for sorting this out. If he texted about Morris, there was a good chance that Robin would call him back to find out how Joan was.

“Excuse me?” a woman said nervously, from behind him.

Strike knew without turning that it was the dark woman from the pub. She had a Home Counties accent and her tone contained that precise mixture of apology and excitement that he usually encountered in those who wanted to talk about his detective triumphs.

“Yes?” he said, turning to face the speaker.

Her blonde friend had come with her: or perhaps, thought Strike, they were more than friends. An indefinable sense of closeness seemed to bind the two women, whom he judged to be around forty. They wore jeans and shirts and the blonde in particular had the slightly weather-beaten leanness that suggests weekends spent hill walking or cycling. She was what some would call a “handsome” woman, by which they meant that she was bare faced. High-cheekboned, bespectacled, her hair pulled back into a ponytail, she also looked stern.

The dark woman was slighter in build. Her large gray eyes shone palely in her long face. She had an air of intensity, even of fanaticism, about her in the half-light, like a medieval martyr.

“Are you… are you Cormoran Strike?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said, his tone uninviting.

“Oh,” she breathed, with an agitated little hand gesture. “This is—this is so strange. I know you probably don’t want to be—I’m sorry to bother you, I know you’re off duty,” she gave a nervous laugh, “but—my name’s Anna, by the way—I wondered,” she took a deep breath, “whether I could come—whether I could come and talk to you about my mother.”

Strike said nothing.

“She disappeared,” Anna went on. “Margot Bamborough’s her name. She was a GP. She finished work one evening, walked out of her practice and nobody’s seen her since.”

“Have you contacted the police?” asked Strike.

Anna gave an odd little laugh.


  • A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2020
  • “Cormoran Strike, the detective hero of an enjoyable series of books by Robert Galbraith (a pen name for J.K. Rowling), has his most complex adventure yet in Troubled Blood. This hefty volume is stuffed with intrigue, surprise, action, violence, social comedy and romance: “value for money,” as the British say…. Our pseudonymous author sorts everything out by the end with the skill of a world-class storyteller.”—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
  • “Troubled Blood’s” central mystery is a strong one, and watching it unfold over the course of a protracted investigation is one of the novel’s great pleasures...Rowling’s greatest novelistic gifts are her ability to spin wild, intricate plots (witness the astrological elements of this latest book), and to create colorful, highly individual characters who come instantly alive on the page."—Bill Sheehan, Washington Post
  • "A scrupulous plotter and master of misdirection, Galbraith keeps the pages turning."—Clare Clark, The Guardian
  • Praise for LETHAL WHITE
  • "Rowling's wizardry as a writer is on fulsome display in Lethal White ( 3.5/4 stars), a behemoth of a novel that flies by in a flash. This is a crime series deeply rooted in the real world, where brutality and ugliness are leavened by the oh-so-human flaws and virtues of Galbraith's irresistible hero and heroine."—USA Today
  • "At times you might feel as you did when reading the Harry Potter books, particularly later in the series, when they got longer and looser. You love the plot, and you love being in the company of the characters, and you admire the author's voice and insights and ingenuity, and you relish the chance to relax into a book without feeling rushed or puzzled or shortchanged.... Long live the fertile imagination and prodigious output of J.K. Rowling."—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
  • "If you love the intricate, character-driven mysteries written by Tana French and Kate Atkinson, then chances are good that you'll enjoy the ones by Robert Galbraith. . . . Robert Galbraith knows how to tell a story every bit as deftly as does J.K. Rowling. Cormoran Strike, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, may limp painfully through much of the book, but the tale being told never misses a step."—Joyce Sáenz Harris, Dallas Morning News
  • "Even if the world is the seedy underbelly of contemporary London and not Magical Hogwarts, cracking the cover of a Galbraith novel is like stepping through a portal. You're immersed all at once."—Bustle
  • "Addictive, murderous fun."
  • "Compulsively readable."—People
  • "One of contemporary crime fiction's most delightful partnerships."—Seattle Times
  • "Rowling's emotionally intelligent portrayal of her protagonists never overwhelms the whodunit story line."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • "Rowling deftly circumnavigates all of the tropes and constructs that have long since relegated the male-author-dominated thriller genre to a place of ridicule and sheer inanity."

Tablet Magazine

On Sale
Jun 22, 2021
Page Count
944 pages
Mulholland Books

robert galbraith

Robert Galbraith

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, bestselling author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy. All six Strike novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil, Lethal White, Troubled Blood and The Ink Black Heart topped the national and international bestseller lists and the series has been adapted for television, produced by Brontë Film and Television.

Learn more about this author