Troubled Blood Chapters 1-10 Now Free Online Pre-Publication At

For whatever reason, be it calculated marketing design or an oversight error made with a library distribution website about the date of release, the first ten chapters of Robert Galbraith’s fifth Cormoran Strike mystery is now available online at The link is here and to access the free chapters the Serious Striker need only click on the box beneath the cover which reads: READ A SAMPLE. The book’s opening epigraphs then appear and, by clicking on the right edge of the page, the first 154 pages of Strike 5 are accessible for everyone’s reading pleasure, free of charge.

The book is seventy-three chapters long so this sample is approximately one tenth of the total. I have discussed at length the first seven chapters, Troubled Blood’s Part One, and the book’s front matter that were released last week on AppleBooks. See First Seven Chapters of Troubled Blood Pre-Publication Release on AppleBooks for that.

Today’s release gives us the first three chapters of Part Two’s seven chapters. It includes our first look at The Demon of Paradise Park and the beginning of Cormoran’s interview with the missing person’s business partner about their shared medical practice on St John’s Lane, Clerkenwell. The tenth chapter ends after only a few pages, alas, and mid-sentence, but a free preview is a free preview — Enjoy!


  1. Kelly Loomis says

    Given Rowling’s stance on trans issues and possible dangers to women, I find it very interesting that Dennis Creed was described as having disguised himself as a woman at times in order to abduct women. Knowing her dedication to research, I wonder if she had come across this sort of tactic while reading actual cases.

    Knowing about ring structure also gets me wondering about how disguise will come into play to solve this book’s case as two references other than the actual description of Creed’s tactics can be found in the latest released chapters. Robin’s flatmate is an actor and Creed’s former landlady was a “dresser” for theater. Could these be clues Rowling may be leaving for us?

    I am also wondering what sort of parallels Strike is going to find to his own life while solving this case. The descriptions of Creed seeing his grandfather’s face in the mirror and the insertion of Charlotte’s twins into the chapter of him reading about Creed etc lead me back to some of our musings about Strike’s parentage or Leda’s killer.

    Unfortunately, both times I went to the sample, I didn’t get any content from chapter 10. Oh well, only a little while more to wait.

  2. Karen Kebarle says

    Thank you so much for this scoop…I read the chapters last night and enjoyed them so much.

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    How about a nice spoiler as to the relevance of the figurine based on ‘ Éliphas Lévi”s “Bouc du Sabbat. – Baphomet at Mendès”?

  4. I have been informed by a Source That Shall Not Be Named that Part 2 of Troubled Blood ends with a direct naming of the Baphomet in the Bamborough Missing Person case’s police file. Remember the comments I put in the HogwartsProfessor Nutter File because their authors all said Rowling’s ‘Solve et Coagula’ tattoo was from the Satanist Baphomet idol? (Check out those posts here.) They weren’t right about The Presence being a demon-possessed servant of the Evil One, but, hat off, they got the Baphomet right.

  5. Joanne Gray says

    Kelly, I too was “wondering what sort of parallels Strike is going to find to his own life while solving this case”!! While reading these last two chapters (8 and 9–I couldn’t read 10 either) I became very nervous about finding out.

    I haven’t felt like this since reading the last books in the Harry Potter series. Actually, I feel even more on edge considering Creed is in the real world and Voldemort was in a fantasy world. Can’t wait to read Troubled Blood but at the same time–truthfully terrified at what might be waiting in those pages yet unread.

  6. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    Thanks! I look forward to updates!

    (Apologies for the typo!: at>et)

  7. Kelly,

    I think Robin will have some interesting research on Dennis Creed’s cross dressing for us later in the book. (I love Robin reading about Dennis Creed’s 29th birthday on Her 29th birthday. Doesn’t seem to be shaping up as a great birthday for her.) I started doing a little research, but obviously it’s tough to look through real cases. I didn’t see anything about a real case where the serial killer who specifically tricked women by dressing female. The image strongly reminds me of the big reveal in Psycho. I do know that the real inspiration for Psycho, among other movies, Ed Gein, took dressing as a woman to a whole other level.

    Sorry, that’s all so grisly and horrific. I was naively hoping that Troubled Blood wouldn’t be as graphic as Career of Evil.

    This theory is meaningless now, but I originally thought that Rowling might have been so frustrated at being labeled as a transphobe, because she planned to use a trans person, very sympathetically, in a plot point later. But JK Rowling does seem very serious about this issue. It would be interesting to see how researching for the Strike series influenced her. Her statement after giving back the Ripple of Hope award was downright conservative. (I’m not saying that as a positive or a negative, I just honestly have been very surprised.)

    Chapter 10, the part we have of it at least, isn’t that exciting from a story arch standpoint, as far as I can tell. It’s Strike interviewing an elderly doctor who worked with Margot. As far as I can tell, it’s main function is to list all of the doctors and staff that worked with Margot at the time of her disappearance.

  8. I think one of the ideas driving the plot will be how people assume some things to be true and how difficult it can be to weed out truth from assumptions. 1) Strike muses how his Aunt Joan and Lucy make statements as being factual when they aren’t. 2) Anna said she thought her step-mother was her mother because she had not been told the truth. She really acted out when she learned what happened to her mother. 3) Strike thinks Dave Polworth was fooling himself about his wife’s feelings about moving back to St. Mawes. And 4) Strike says he doesn’t think Robin wants kids, that “she likes the job.” Has he talked to her?

    I expect there are going to be some big surprises and whatever those surprises are won’t be easy to accept. Mrs. Tufty beats up a car and when her brother is told about Tufty’s bigamous behavior he is so slow to grasp what has happened that he and Strike almost have a row. Robin has to tell Strike it’s hard to accept because the situation is so unexpected. Perhaps Aunt Joan’s illness will lead to some truth-telling.

    I expect some tension between Strike and Robin because of her realization she wants a private life at the same time the agency work load continues to grow. One of those surprises coming Strike’s way. In Book 3 their opposing views led to Robin being fired. How will their differences be handled in Book 5? (Dr. Gupta’s comments on what makes a practice successful could be some foreshadowing.)

    In Book 3 the villain lived two lives, one in disguise using another name. Book 5 will likely deal with hiding and disguise. 1) When Robin sees Tufty’s children their similarity to Tufty is emphasized along with how his wives and girl-friend all look alike or how they would have looked in the past. 2) Creed’s family resemblance is noted. 3) Strike also muses about how he normally wears a heavy beard when he testifies in high-profile cases to make him less recognizable if his picture is in the news. Will the case involve someone who is in the public eye?

    Fully expect my own assumptions and expectations to be wrong!

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