Have We Covered ‘Troubled Blood’? No.

Due to the release of the Ink Black Heart cover and fly-leaf synopsis last week, we have been discussing that full time at HogwartsProfessor. Beatrice Groves, Louise Freeman, and I have all checked in with what we individually found intriguing about the new material (scroll down for those three discussions!). We’re definitely getting excited about the new Strike series installment and I’m guessing that will be reflected in July and August posts on this site as we hasten to respond to the marketing crumbs sure to be dropped in the next eight weeks to generate more interest in the new novel.

There is a hint in this enthusiasm that Troubled Blood and all its complexity, its artistry and meaning, has been covered, that is, Strike 5 is stale news.

Which, of course, is not only wrong but crazy wrong. There are a lot of questions about what was really going on in Troubled Blood that haven’t even been raised on this forum or any other that I know of (true confessions: I don’t get out much).

After the jump, I offer two such ideas, one from a reader in a comment thread on this site and one that occurred to me only on my >30th listen to the Glenister audiobook. See you there! [Read more…]

Ink Black Heart Synopsis Pointers: Mythological and Ring Suggestions

Two days ago, the cover of Ink Black Heart and its fly-leaf synopsis were revealed — and already two of the world’s most insightful Rowling Readers have checked in here with in-depth explorations of ideas about what might be coming in Strike 6. Beatrice Groves, author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, led the charge with The Ink Black Heart: Uncovering the synopsis clues and Louise Freeman, professor of psychology at Mary Baldwin University, followed up yesterday with The Social Science Guide to “Anomie” and What It Could Mean for The Ink Black Heart.

As you’d expect (and want), each addressed possibilities in those subjects in which Serious Strikers know these pundits are expert. Prof Groves gave us a fascinating exploration of the Cratylic name ‘Anomie,’ more on Highgate Cemetery with a focus on its disused Underground Station, and a prediction that Sidney’s The Arcadia will be the epigraph source in  the penultimate Strike mystery, first septology. Prof Freeman explored the social science meaning of anomie a la Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton, repercussions with respect to the 5-6 Flip Idea, what ‘lawlessness’ might tell us about Leda Strike’s supposed suicide, and wealth as the magic of the Strike series in parallel with the Wizarding World seven books.

I confess to being almost overwhelmed by these idea avalanches and left to wonder what else there is left to say about Ink Black Heart’s flyleaf copy and the new cover. After the jump, though, I will share two thoughts which, like Professors Groves and Freeman’s posts, you’d expect I would have, that is, what the synopsis suggests to me about the ring structure of the first seven books, the Parallel Series Idea, and the mythological templates of the Strike-Ellacott relationship. See you there! [Read more…]

The Social Science Guide to “Anomie” and What It Could Mean for The Ink Black Heart.

I will admit that prior to seeing the pre-publication blurb of The Ink Black Heart, I was not familiar with the term “anomie.” Indeed, my initial assumption when learning this was the online handle of a cartoonist’s cyber-stalker, was that the name was intended as a variant of “anime.” However, thanks to Beatrice Groves’ initial post and the flurry of discussion from our friends on the Strikefans.com Twitter feed, I quickly learned it was a term used in my own field of psychology, albeit strongly on the sociological/cultural side of that discipline. This explains why I, a behavioral neuroscientist, had never heard of it. I will be interested in seeing if Robin knows what it is, given that it is more associated with sociology than psychology.

I’m always open to learning new terminology, especially when it comes to better understanding the works of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith, so I spent some time today reading up on this concept. Learn what I found out, and what it might mean for The Ink Black Heart, and specifically for the 5-6 Flip Idea after the jump. [Read more…]

Beatrice Groves – The Ink Black Heart – Uncovering the synopsis clues

This morning we finally have the cover for The Ink Black Heart, complete with a plot teaser from the publisher. A few hours earlier than expected, the details were released by Apple Books before 9:30 am BST, before the expected 2:00 pm BST reveal from the Robert Galbraith twitter account. Thank you SEFiles podcast for the tip! The wait was too much for @RGalbraith who released the cover at 11:30 am.

Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: The Ink Black Heart – Uncovering the synopsis clues. Join me after the jump for Prof. Groves’ look at what the cover and publisher’s blurb can mean for The Ink Black Heart.

Publisher Description:

The Latest instalment in the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Strike series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in another winding, wicked case.

When frantic, dishevelled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. The co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity.

Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this – and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart.

Robin and her business partner, Cormoran Strike, become drawn into the quest to uncover Anomie’s true identity. But with a complex web of online aliases, business interests and family conflicts to navigate, Strike and Robin find themselves embroiled in a case that stretches their powers of deduction to the limits – and which threatens them in new and horrifying ways…

A gripping, fiendishly clever mystery, The Ink Black Heart is a true tour-de-force.

[Read more…]

Ink Black Heart Cover Release Tomorrow

Any guesses about the image behind the placeholder cover behind the leaf screen?

And the wall of leaves that open like a beaded screen between rooms?

We will discuss here tomorrow, of course; see you then!