Beatrice Groves – Ink Black Heart Predictions

Less than 24 hours until the biggest publishing event of the year, and the excitement at Hogwarts Professor is palpable. 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: Ink Black Heart Predictions. The final of three posts in the run up to publication day tomorrow. Join me after the jump for Prof. Groves’ best guesses based on both close reading of the previous books and other revelations, for The Ink Black Heart.

Ink Black Heart Predictions

In preparation for the release of Ink Black Heart tomorrow I have been rereading the series so far, and I’ve noticed a few things and made a few predictions.

Some of these are simply the result of having learnt new things since my previous re-read. One example is a delightful fact about Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – the pub at which Nina Lascelles arranges to meet Strike in Silkworm. This is that the view from the door of this pub is subject to a preservation order. Which means that it is not legal to build anything that would impede the view of St Pauls’ dome from the front door of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. I love the idea of this historic sight line, asserting as it does that both London’s public houses and its cathedral are essential to an understanding of the history of the Capital. The preservation of sight lines also speaks to an unusual way of considering, and valuing, the ways in which the past lives on in the present – adding another layer of suitability to this location for Silkworm.

Something else I’ve learned since reading Career of Evil is that Rowling once owned a boat called Amphitrite. She bought it after writing that book, but I was startled, nonetheless, to read the passage set in the area in Barrow-on-Furness in which roads are named after the boats built there (often female characters from Greek myth such as Juno, Latona and Niobe). Strike & Robin first notice the ship-named streets when they are directed to Vengeance Street – but it is Amphitrite Street which leads Strike to guess why these streets have such unusual names. Amphitrite is an interesting name to give to a boat, given her somewhat equivocal relation with the Poseidon:, in Greek mythology, the goddess of the sea, wife of the god Poseidon, and one of the 50 (or 100) daughters (the Nereids) of Nereus and Doris (the daughter of Oceanus). Poseidon chose Amphitrite from among her sisters as the Nereids performed a dance on the isle of Naxos. Refusing his offer of marriage, she fled to Atlas, from whom she was retrieved by a dolphin sent by Poseidon. Amphitrite then returned, becoming Poseidon’s wife; he rewarded the dolphin by making it a constellation. In works of art Amphitrite was represented either enthroned beside Poseidon or driving with him in a chariot drawn by sea horses or other fabulous sea creatures.

Encyclopedia Brittanica

Amphitrite Street in Barrow-in-Furness is named after HMS Amphitrite a Royal Navy cruiser which served in the First World War. (Not entirely auspiciously she collided with, and sunk, the destroyer HMS Nessus in 1918 and she was nicknamed ‘‘am and tripe’ by her crew, in denigration of the onboard fare). Given that Rowling presumably wrote this scene in 2014, and the boat which she was to own was not renamed Amphitrite until 2015 (thank you Nick!) this must be pure coincidence, but a startling one nonetheless (and maybe one reason that she took a shine to this boat?!).

Another new piece of information about Rowling which has surfaced since my previous reread of the series, leads to my first prediction for Ink Black Heart:

Prediction 1: Strike will take up vaping.

Rereading Troubled Blood for the first time since noticing Rowling vaping in a photo taken earlier this year, Strike’s musing on this topic inspired a new interest: ‘Barclay had been extolling the virtues of vaping the last time they’d met. Perhaps it was time to try that, or at least to cut down on the cigarettes.’ Troubled Blood saw Strike reaching for cigarettes at every opportunity (lighting up, indeed, even when it was impossible) so here’s hoping, for the sake of his health, that he gives vaping a try. Strike’s attempts to quit might also be an opportunity for comedy – an opportunity which has been savoured to the full by one of Rowling’s (and my) favourite comic authors. I’ve written before about Rowling’s love of P.G. Wodehouse and, if you haven’t read it, do read his ‘The Man Who Gave Up Smoking.’ And if you have read it, read it again.

Prediction 2: Gender-fluidity will be both an important topic and a vital clue.

Ink Black Heart will open with an epigraph by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge – a poet who took the pseudonym ‘Anodos’ in order not the shame-by-association her illustrious great-great uncle Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Anodos is the male protagonist of a novel called Phantastes – George MacDonald’s fairy bildungsroman. Anodos means ‘on no road:’ a strikingly self-abnegating name, whether you’re the hero of a quest-based story or a poet publishing your first collection. Not only does Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (like Rowling) take a male pseudonym, but there seem to be layers of performative self-effacement here as she takes the name of a fictional male character so as not to be seen to tarnish (or make any claims upon) the reputation of a distant male relative.

Ink Black Heart contains a similar sounding (and similarly unsexed) pseudonym ‘Anomie’, but the main reason for expecting this topic is the Parallel Series and Ring theories: the idea that the structure of the originally-planned seven Strike books, like the Harry Potter books, are composed in a ring. If this is correct, then Ink Black Heart will echo Silkworm – a theory which has already had a major predictive bullseye in assuming that we’d see an important text-within-a-text in Ink Black Heart (something we predicted back in December). Even more strikingly this text-within-the-text shares its name with Rowling’s novel (just as Bombyx Mori did – as the Latin name for Silkworm) and its author (just as in Silkworm) is the murder victim. So far, the parallel seems to be working. In Harry Potter this chiastic pairing of novels pivoted round Goblet of Fire and many of the themes and ideas in each pair echoed with the central novel in the series. Which means that, if the theory is correct, topics that are important to both Silkworm and Lethal White are particularly likely to resurface in Ink Black Heart.

In Silkworm the murdered author was fascinated by gender-fluidity. This is explored through the ambiguously sexed protagonist of Bombyx Mori – who has both male and female sexual characteristics – and it is explicitly discussed: ‘it’s a constant theme in Quine’s work, sexual duality.’ Quine even names his daughter ‘Orlando’ – a literary allusion to the most famous novel on this topic, an allusion which is explicitly noted by Daniel Chard near the end of the novel, who explains the connection with Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. This topic is also underlined by the choice of epigraphs from Ben Jonson’s Epicoene, which provides three of the epigraphs for Silkworm (chapters 12, 22 & 25). ‘Epicoene’ (more usually ‘epicene’) is originally a grammatical term, used since the fifteenth century to mean:

‘In Latin and ancient Greek grammar: designating a class of nouns which may denote either males or females but which have a fixed grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, neuter, etc.); of or relating to such nouns. Hence in modern English and other languages: designating nouns and pronouns which may denote individuals of either sex; of or relating to such nouns.’  (OED)

By the early seventeenth century (contiguous with the time of Jonson’s play, in 1609) it widened its meaning into ‘people or animals having characteristics of both sexes, or of neither; indeterminate in respect of sex; androgynous; hermaphrodite; spec. (of a man) effeminate, effete. Also figurative: indeterminate, mixed’ (OED) Epicoene’s title is a clue to the central action of the play in which a man is tricked into marrying a woman (who would, of course, have been played by a boy at the time) only to find, when he wishes to annul the marriage, that ‘she’ was indeed a ‘he’ all along. In a brilliant sleight of hand the ‘fiction’ that the audience have accepted (of a boy-actor playing a woman) is transformed into fact.

The slippery gender-roles of Epicoene are important in Chapter 22 of Silkworm (a chapter for which it provides an epigraph) as this is the chapter in which the central character of Bombyx Mori – likewise named Epicoene – is discussed; Strike’s first encounter with Pippa is mentioned and there is a long discussion of how Hobart’s Sin is ‘all about a hermaphrodite’ and that one the key features of Quine’s work ‘is how characters keep swapping their gender or sexual orientation.’ None of this is really more than a red herring for the murder investigation except (perhaps) to question the gendered expectations that mean that people are predisposed to search for a male murderer for such a grotesque murder. However, when the topic reappears in Lethal White it provides an important clue. The fact that Billy is confused about the sex of the child he thinks he saw murdered – ‘Little girl it was, but after they said it was a little boy’ – seems just a trick to add to the general confusion of the reader (has he even witnessed a murder? What does all this have to do with the main murder investigation?). But it is, in fact, a major clue to the murderer and his motivation – the appallingly traumatic childhood Raphael endured at the hands of his father’s favourite son. The reader is given a subtle hint about who this ‘little girl’/’little boy’ might be when Raphael says of Freddie ‘He hated me. Used to call me “Raphaela” and pretend Dad had told the family I was another girl.’

So, if – as I expect – this topic is going to be important once more in Ink Black Heart I think that, as in Lethal White, it is going to furnish a crucial clue.

Prediction 3: Strike will make a joke which is right on the money

And talking of crucial clues – remember when the Harry Potter trio muse over what Tom Riddle might have done at his time in Hogwarts and Ron guesses ‘Maybe he murdered Myrtle, that would’ve done everyone a favour …’ Rowling’s fondness for outing her murder suspects in plain sight, albeit behind a cloak of humour, continues unabated in Strike. This happened at the very beginning of the series when after discussing Charlie’s death Bristow mentions his sister:

‘Right. Is she is some kind of trouble?’

‘She’s dead.’

Strike just stopped himself saying, ‘What, her too?’

Well, quite. And another throw-away comment of Strike’s – ‘I hope Chiswell’s wife isn’t cheating. I fancy a change’ – likewise tells us pretty much everything before the search even gets underway. I’ll be paying close attention if Strike makes any jokes about suspects…

Prediction 4: The death of Rokeby.

This prediction comes from a Harry Potter parallel which struck me for the first time on this read through – the deaths of characters we know.

In Harry Potter these deaths begin with Cedric – his death marks Book 4 as pivotal, and from that point forward their will be one crucial death per book (followed by a deluge in Book 7). In Strike I think that none of the cast of characters we know – I mean here those related to Strike and Robin’s lives not the new characters of each murder case – die in the first three books. In Book 4 a minor side character dies, someone whose death does not affect the reader, but does affect one of our heroes. Cedric’s death was a much more emotional read than that of Matthew’s mother (because he was a child, and because we’d got to know him in Book 4), but prior to that book he was a very minor character. In Book 5, Rowling ups the ante by killing off Sirius Black – and in Troubled Blood Joan dies. Joan was not someone in whom the reader had previously invested much, but she is deeply important to Strike, and her death is profoundly moving. It is also noticeable that, like Sirius, she was a parental figure to our hero. In Harry Potter Book 6, of course, comes Dumbledore’s death. No-one in Strike matches up to Dumbledore but the nearest, I think, would be Rokeby – who as a behind-the-scenes father figure, and who (I suspect) knows things that Strike needs to know, might be the best structural parallel (even if lacking the emotional heft).

The importance of Rokeby to Ink Black Heart is hinted at in one of the scenes at Joan’s deathbed when she says: ‘I think your father’s at the heart of… of a lot of things.’ Partly it is that use of the word ‘heart’ – a powerful, everyday metaphor, which resonates, of course, with the title of the new novel. But also, this phrase captures our attention because it comes immediately after one of the most moving exchanges in the whole of Strike. Joan recounts a memory of a fortune teller that gives her pain:

‘D’you know what she said?… “You’ll never have children.” Just like that. Straight out.’

‘Well, she got that wrong, didn’t she?’ said Strike.

It is a rare moment in which Strike’s forthrightness brings joy to a woman who loves him. But it is also an uncompromising expression of the importance of different types of parenthood. Rokeby is Strike’s (presumed) blood relative, and nothing more; and the whole of the aptly titled Troubled Blood involves Strike’s setting up this kind of ‘empty’ parenthood against that of Joan’s love-without-a-blood-tie; the love that means so much to him at this moment that to acknowledge any claim of Rokeby’s seems an affront to it. But this passage itself speaks against such divisions:

Why had he never said these things before, Strike asked himself. It would have been so easy to give her pleasure, and instead he’d held tightly to his divided loyalties, angry that he had to choose, to label, and it doing so, to betray.

But Strike does not reflect that he is still doing this – talking to Rokeby would be no betrayal of Joan, and yet he still pits them against each other, just as he once did with Joan and Leda.

I think that Strike will finally speak to Rokeby in Ink Black Heart and find out what it is that Joan does not quite tell him here – what Rokeby’s really at the heart of for Strike. This information will then set the scene for Strike’s discovery of who really killed Leda in Strike 7. (Incidentally if Rokeby knows something important, this feels like it points the finger more towards Peter Gillespie – who was suggested to me as the killer by Lindsay of The Strike & Ellacott Files back in September 2021. I do hope she’s right – he’s the only plausible candidate I’d love to see go down for this crime!). I think Ink Black Heart will see Rokeby make his important communication to Strike and then die; although it is perhaps to be feared that, like Dumbledore, he may die without seemingly having passed on the crucial information. Maybe, if that is the case, that it will reach Strike after Rokeby’s death – I’m imagining a letter which (like that in Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge) will reveal that the child’s paternity is not what has been assumed.

So, these are my predictions – what are yours?



  1. Bonni Crawford says

    There’s a poem by, as far as I can tell, an amateur writer who goes by the name if Mr Hunt which seems to liken the dark web to a realm that has an inky black heart:

    The Hidden World

    A world exists beneath the covers
    Where vile putrid acts are lovers.
    Filled with black markets and dark arts
    This hidden world has an inky black heart.
    No soul should dare to enter here
    Lest they are prepared to see and hear
    The many tormented faces and cries of all
    Who are trapped in this unseen squall.

    With no respect to life or death,
    This hidden world take’s each innocent breath.
    And however one may try to fight,
    This rotting realm that stains the light.
    It shall continue to press on
    While leaving behind its sickly spawns.
    So if you hear it’s blood curling scream,
    Quickly turn away, and hopefully…it will leave you be…


    It appears this poem was posted on Mr Hunt’s website in May this year, so a good 5 or 6 months after the Ink Black Heart title reveal, but still, the notion of the dark web as being like a shadow realm (of the sort found in myths and fairy/fantasy stories) seems potentially relevant.

  2. Bonni Crawford says

    Another little link between literary terminology and dark web terminology:

    “While the dark web is technically a part of the deep web, it takes anonymity a step further by using overlay networks to restrict access, often attracting users engaged in illicit activity. These networks use special anonymized software to grant users access; the largest and most famous of which is Tor. Tor stands for “The Onion Router,” which references its “onion routing” technique of using encapsulated layers of encryption to ensure privacy.” (From

    The idea that the layers of aliases etc provide a cloak of anonymity (an invisibility cloak, if you like) to users of the dark web is fun to begin with. And then I was – for want of a better word, charmed – to learn that the .com equivalent in the dark web is .onion. As it reminded me of the very different use of the onion analogy by C. S. Lewis:

    “Of course, Daughter of Eve,” said the Faun. “The further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside.”
    Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange: she knew them all.

    “I see,” she said. “This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see … world within world, Narnia within Narnia….”
    “Yes,” said Mr. Tumnus, “like an onion: except that as you continue to go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.”
    (From The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, the seventh and final novel in The Chronicles of Narnia, published in 1956)

  3. Bonni Crawford says

    Following from my last comment, it occurs to me that, although Harry uses his invisibility cloak (and the Marauders Map, which is kind of like the personal-data-without-consent one can buy on the dark web) for breaking the rules throughout the series, the one time that gets really ‘dark’ is when his use of those tools to stalk Malfoy in HBP culminates in him casting the dark spell Sectumsempra on Malfoy.

  4. Thanks Bonni – I love the onion idea, and hope that turns up!
    And Harry was right (in his stalking of Draco) to think that he was trying to prevent a murder by so doing – our duo will no doubt be caught in some similar acts of ‘moral grey-area’ surveillance (such as we’ve seen them engage in before).

  5. Bonni Crawford says

    Hi Beatrice, yes indeed – imagine if Strike and/or Robin are tempted to try and buy GoogleMaps records of their suspects’ phone locations at the time of the murder! I wonder if they actually would do that…

  6. Bonni,

    Another great series of ideas, again. This time you’ve got me wondering what the thematic aspects of the dark web could amount to, and whether, as you say, this could be the next to ultimate (the final meaning of the title being reserved for the actual murderer) allusion to the titular “Black Heart” of Rowling’s title. It makes sense to me on the level that Rowling appears to once more be taking an Elizabethan symbol, and finding just the right correspondence for it in today’s modern world.

    With a concept like the dark, web, she might have just hit the ultimate, satirical jackpot. Like, just when you mentioned the possibility of the dark web playing a part in the book, I’m thinking, “You SURE you wanna go “there”? Like, it’s one of those things you’ve heard a lot of bad stuff about, and most of it seems to be captured pretty well in the Hunt poem.

    If I had to add any other artistic expressions which might help give an idea of what the ruling symbol of Rowling’s next book might be, then it would be the lyrics to songs like “Poison Heart”, by the Ramones. Or “I Don’t Believe in Love”, by Queensryche. Those two just seem to sum up the kind of mindset that the Detective Duo might be up against.

    Sad to say, the book release means I might just have to drop off the radar for a bit. At least until I find out whodunit. That’s one of the great things about this series. It makes you want to avoid spoilers. Till then, “The game’s afoot”!

  7. My only prediction is that this book will be longer than Troubled Blood because the audiobook is an hour longer, 32h 43 mins vs 31h 51 mins for Book 5.
    I can scarcely wait to get my hands on the book tomorrow. I have kept myself away from all press, including the synopsis and all analyses until I read for myself. I look forward to reading all your articles once I have read the book. Thanks a lot for all this analysis and information – it is highly appreciated

  8. Your predictions on deaths (and parallels to HP) are obviously very well thought out, so I’m not contradicting—these certainly don’t have to be either/or!

    But my prediction on deaths is a little different. I think Rowling/Galbraith has to start paying off on the idea of how dangerous the agency’s work is. She can’t pawn us off forever with near misses and non-life-threatening injuries.

    So I think she soon has to kill off a member of the team—and my longstanding prediction is: it’s Barclay. It has to be someone we’ve grown to know and care about, not some bit-player. And we know it isn’t Strike or Robin.

    Enter Barclay. He’s likable, relatable. Has a young family. He’s shared both fun and intense “bonding” moments with our heroes. Let’s face it: he’s purpose-built to be The Death That Really Hurts.

    So this is still my main prediction. But I’ve also been noodling (on very little information) with the idea that Michelle Greenstreet, the new woman on the team, could be the one to end up dead. This would force a spotlight on the uncomfortable issue that’s been trickling through the series—which is that women, on the whole, are more vulnerable in situations of physical danger. If “Midge” (yes, I read the Apple Books preview) ends up dead in a situation that would also have killed Robin, that has difficult implications for everyone.

  9. Thanks all! OV Kale – thank you, that’s lovely to hear. Looking forward to seeing you back here when you (and we!) have read it, for more discussion.

    SK: I have not read the Apple release, so I’ve skimmed over that bit – spoiler-free predictions are really hard when they release stuff! – but I do like your idea of Barclay. Given that Strike & Robin are safe, I agree Barclay would be once of the harshest deaths available to her! Greenstreet might be too if we get to really know & like her. I feel that Strike – having a tiny cast of loveable characters compared to HP – could do with not killing off too many of any of that smaller band, but we’ll see!

  10. Janice Pavel says

    I think your predictions are spot on – although I put less weight on the more far-fetched ones found on other websites, like Rokeby not being Strike’s biological father ( there was a blood test!) or Ted being Leda’s killer, etc. Rowlings is a consummate writer and readers have to remember that characters need to remain true to themselves; otherwise, the plot will ring false and readers will abandon the series. My prediction is that Charlotte will die. Her death might be necessary for Strike to move on. It would be a bit unfair to the love story of Robin and Strike as it would lessen the impact on Strike’s rejection of Charlotte, notwithstanding Strike changing his cell number. With Charlotte’s death, Robin will never know if Strike really chooses her over Charlotte or if Robin is only second best.

    I do think that a Rokeby and Strike breakthrough will happen in Ink Black Heart and Rokeby may die — the groundwork has already been laid in TB. I think that the story of Rokeby and Leda rings true – supergrouper and rock star. But how to twist it? It may be that Rokeby’s wife plays a part? What if she couldn’t get pregnant and Leda was actually a planned surrogate mother, but then Rokeby’s wife did in fact get pregnant and Leda was later abandoned? Strike’s version of that, to paraphrase — costing Rokeby a marriage, is a neat, trite explanation, only worthy of a 7 year old child. Rokeby himself saying that there was more to the story. So these are my predictions! Three hours – can’t wait!

  11. My apologies! The nickname “Midge” was my only reference to the Apple Books preview—absolutely no other “spoilers.” I know some people are religiously avoiding all tidbits from the new book, so I should’ve left even that out of it. 🤐

  12. Here are my predictions. (I haven’t read the Apple books preview, but I did read a few reviews, which mostly just whined about the length. I for one am super excited that it’s going to take me all week and maybe into the weekend to finish The Ink Black Heart!)

    Rokeby will become ill enough that Strike is obligated to go see him and much is revealed regarding Leda, but Rokeby doesn’t die. I predict no one dies outside of Edie and one or two related murders.

    I think Edie will be murdered on Halloween and that her (his?) murderer will turn out to be a a close friend and colleague. I think Strike will be the one to put all of the final pieces together.

    I think Robin and Strike’s relationship will cool down but will progress some emotionally, especially towards the end of the book. I think the book with end on some sort of emotional cliffhanger.

    I think that Strike will continue to smoke, although maybe cut back some. He’s a fictional character, he can have a bad habit.

    SK: I wouldn’t worry about your “spoiler.”

  13. Shame on me for not having read Wodehouse’s “The Man Who Gave Up Smoking” but I shall! I think these predictions are on very solid ground — we’ll see! The only one that I’m not entirely a fan of on literary grounds rather than for health reasons is Strike vaping. But as I hope to write on that for the site in the near future, I’ll keep my (ahem) tobacco dry.

  14. Ok, before I get very far in my reading of IBH (only barely just started) I want to flesh-out, as I see it, how the “Rokeby will die” prediction might play out: Rokeby shows up to Strike’s office and they row a bit but eventually we learn that JR is dying — most likely because the cancer that was supposedly caught early proves to have been more aggressive. This along with other things said lead CS into a conflict of emotions about his father. He remembers Joan’s death and her advice to him on this point. He meets Pru who further helps him along this path. Eventually there is a death-bed scene with JR & CS and while some may doubt that a reconciliation will take place (I personally think that it will to some degree), the important thing for the plot is that some essential clue is passed from father to son concerning Leda and this will propel Strike to investigate her death in Book 7.

    Ok, whew, got that publicly recorded before reading too far! You may now pillory me.

  15. I haven’t gone through all the posts/predictions around IBH other than this one, but I must say that the book is not up to usual standards and certainly not worthy of the level of literary analysis I have seen on this forum for past books.
    Beatrice – do you feel the same way?

    I was very excited for this book as I feel all previous books improved in quality and plot complexity than its predecessor. Even though I did not like CoE over Silkworm, it had major character development in it, especially for Robin.
    However, IBH is a letdown after Troubled Blood which excelled on all levels – literary allusions, plot complexity, interesting characters, Strike and Robin becoming more of their persons.
    In IBH, everything seems to have taken three steps back. I hate trigger-happy fans who swing from one extreme to another on a whim but my faith and investment in this series took a beating. I had the same feeling of anti-climax after HP Book 6, but Book 7 redeemed itself spectacularly. I am hoping the same happens here.

    Also, I am not sure if this was the right place to write these thoughts as I did not exactly reply on your predictions. Please tell me if there is a general forum discussion where I should rather be writing.

  16. I did the stupidest thing when I opened my new copy of The Ink Black Heart the other day. I went looking for the total pages, and then read the final sentence of the book… which really made me feel [rest of the comment rescinded]!!!!!!

    No spoilers! But it caused a reaction and made me very excited about reading the book! My read-through has been slower than planned, and I’m just starting TB today, so I’ve got a lot of reading to get through over the next few days!

  17. Aaaand DONE. Feeling lonelik and borkled. Quite a heartbreaker, this one!

    Spoiler below:
    FFS I would have been okay with just a kiss on the cheek between those two. Seriously, this is getting Victorian.

  18. Just returning to this thread after finishing IBH.

    But thank you SK – and, of course, Midge’s nickname does not count as a spoiler!

    Maybe we should begin a more general discussion under the general ‘Ink Black Heart Discussion’ placeholder? OV Kale – I very much enjoyed reading it. Aspects of it did not work as well as in TB, I agree – and though I enjoyed the epigraphs, for example, I did not feel they were as brilliantly synthesised into the plot as the those of 4 & 5 had been. But I think we will still find plenty to discuss!

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