Series: Cormoran Strike Book 6
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 1024 pages
Audiobook Length: 30 hours
First Published: 2022
The sixth entry in the Cormoran Strike series has the private investigator and his partner Robin involved in another twisted case. When Edie Ledwell, co-creator of the popular cartoon The Ink Black Heart, shows up at their door terrified of an online troll, Robin doesn’t think they can help him. After Edie is killed, Robin and Cormoran try to uncover the stalker’s true identity.
First off, I read this book knowing all about J.K. Rowling’s transphobia controversy, and I will say that the media incorrectly portrayed the premise of The Ink Black Heart as completely mirroring Rowling’s own experience. The cartoonist Edie Ledwell is not trolled because of transphobic remarks but instead because some close to her obsessively hates her to a fanatical extreme. If the same story was written by any other author, I don’t think critics would have batted an eye.
Caveats aside, The Ink Black Heart was way too long. Rowling could have easily cut out at least a quarter of the story. Since a dark humor cartoon is central to the case, you have to delve into the bizarre meanings of the creative work, which was a bit annoying but not as bad as The Silkworm. Also, the narrative heavily involves online activity and reading strings of chat messages get really old really fast.
To be honest, the real reason I still read this series is for the will-they-won’t-they relationship between Strike and Robin. For how long the book is, Rowling rushed the beginning, jumping straight to a miscommunication that resets the relationship at maximum romantic tension. Just like any series, Rowling keeps adding drama to maintain a high tension, resolving nothing but developing the characters a little more.
The latest installment in the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Strike series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in another winding, wicked case.
When frantic, disheveled 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 cocreator 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.
About Robert Galbraith
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J. K. Rowling, bestselling author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy. Originally, Rowling wanted to write under a pseudonym so as not to depend on the strength of the Harry Potter series. Although, her pseudonym was quickly revealed, and she has continued to use the name Robert Galbraith for the Cormoran Strike series. Visit the author’s website →