It’s official: Lethal White looks set to be the most epic Cormoran Strike story yet…
J.K. Rowling became the UK’s best-selling author thanks to the Harry Potter series. And as many fans will know, she agreed to publish the books under her initials over her given name after publishers suggested young male readers might be deterred by a female author.
Of course, we’ll never know if this would have hindered the huge success of the series, but interestingly, when Rowling embarked on a second franchise she opted to go incognito, taking a male name by choice: Robert Galbraith.
As Galbraith, Rowling has penned three hugely successful crime novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014) and Career of Evil (2015) – all of which topped the national and international bestseller lists.
And now, at long last, Lethal White – which will be the fourth in the Detective Cormoran Strike series – has been announced.
Check out the book’s official synopsis below:
“I seen a kid killed… he strangled it, up by the horse.”
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been - Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that…
Here’s your first look at the cover for Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White:
About JK Rowling’s pseudonym, Robert Galbraith:
The first book in Rowling’s Detective Cormoran Strike series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was introduced as the debut novel from Robert Galbraith, when it was published in April 2013. Galbraith was a name Rowling loved as a child and she hoped for a foolproof cover story in him being a military man now working in the civilian security industry. But it wasn’t long before The Times broke Rowling’s cover and outed her as the author.
Sales of the book subsequently soared, but Rowling has maintained her alter-ego, even giving two interviews as Galbraith. Indeed, she even wore a suit and tie for a conversation in character with crime writer Val McDermid at 2014’s Harrogate Crime Writing Festival.
Famously shy of the limelight, Rowling has since explained that inventing an alter-ego was about affording herself freedom as an author.
“To begin with I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback,” she said, as reported by The Guardian. “It was a fantastic experience [to go unrecognised under a pseudonym] and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer than it did. I was grateful at the time for all the feedback from publishers and readers, and for some great reviews.”
Rowling added: “Being Robert Galbraith was all about the work, which is my favourite part of being a writer. Now my cover has been blown, I plan to continue to write as Robert to keep the distinction from other writing and because I rather enjoy having another persona.”
Lethal White – which will be published on 18 September 2018 – will be available to buy as a hardback for £20.
Images: Getty / provided by publisher