‘Ink Black Heart’ Listed at 976 Pages

The good people at The Rowling Library noted this morning in their all-things-Rowling news summary that we have a new  page count for the sixth Cormoran Strike novel, Ink Black Heart.

Amazon.com was updated with more information about The Ink Black Heart. The details section for the book used to show 944 pages (same as Troubled Blood), but now it was updated to 976, which I personally think will be the final count. The large print edition was updated as well, with 1536 pages!

If Mr. Tarantino is correct in his surmise, Ink Black Heart will only be 3% longer than Troubled Blood. It should be noted, though, that being as long as or longer than Strike5 means:

  • Ink Black Heart will be the longest single work of fiction Rowling has ever published;
  • the parallel with the Potter series opposite number is broken (Half-Blood Prince was shorter than Order of the Phoenix, the longest Potter novel and, until Troubled Blood, the longest Rowling fiction); and 
  • Serious Rowling-Readers had best re-make whatever plans they had for the autumn months of 2022.

I don’t know how much credibility to give an Amazon.com listing of a book-not-yet-in-print‘s page count this far from its date of publication, especially in light of the history of bad blood between the publisher and the online vendor with a de facto monopoly in book sales. I cannot think of any reason Amazon would intentionally misrepresent a page count, however, so it seems legitimate to conclude Ink Black Heart will indeed approach one thousand pages.

The good news is that quantity and quality for Rowling do not seem to exist in inverse proportion as they do for many writers. Her history, especially with the remarkable Troubled Blood, suggests, rather than bemoaning her need for an editor with some scissors (and an eye for Flints), we should be celebrating the largesse we are being promised. With Rowling-Galbraith, incredibly, ‘The more, the better.’

I covet your comments and corrections, as always.


  1. yay!! i’m so excited for this long of a novel!!

  2. Louise Freeman says

    I wonder how the increasing length of the novels will translate into the TV series. And, since Rowling has control of both, how much reshaping (particularly adjusting the order of events, and deciding which major plotlines have to be cut) is going on at the time of writing, versus when she sits down with the screenwriters. While, personally, I’d like to think she writes the novel as she wishes, with an idea of working out the adaptations later, it has to be in the back of her mind, now that the show has been so successful.

  3. Great point, Louise, as always.

    I know nothing about such things, so, in my ignorance, I assume the obvious., namely, the longer the book, the more episodes are allowed for the teevee adaptations, and the more business and profits for Bronte Studios aka Rowling, Inc.

    Like you, I doubt this determines how long each novel in the series is, but it is worth noting that the author has financial incentive — as did Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy, all paid by the word — to write more rather than less.

    We know because of Christmas Pig that Rowling can write as or more brilliantly on a small canvas as she can on a large one. If the teevee shows she produces for profit make her money when her novels are longer and that in any way fosters more rather than less, I think I may be able to embrace this as the principal silver lining of those adaptations and their Short Strike and Chummy looking Charlotte.

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