J.K. Rowling updated her Twitter header this morning and fans with a keen eye were quick to spot the Cromer Pier in Norfolk. If this header is Strike related, could this mean that The Ink Black Heart will feature Norfolk, or will we have to wait until Book 7 to see it?
Norfolk might ring a bell for Strike fans as we’ve been told throughout the series that Strike’s mother, Leda, took him and his younger sister, Lucy, to live in a “quasi-mystical” Norfolk commune. Something Strike calls, “the worst experience of his young life.” Will we finally learn more about this disturbing commune when August arrives?
“He had slept in worse places. There had been the stone floor of a multistory car park in Angola, and the bombed-out metal factory where they had erected tents, and woken coughing up black soot in the mornings; and, worst of all, the dank dormitory of the commune in Norfolk to which his mother had dragged him and one of his half-sisters when they were eight and six respectively. ” The Cuckoo’s Calling, Chapter 7
“Right hand on the wheel, left hand now groping around for biscuits, Strike recalled some of the nightmarish spectacles that he and Lucy had witnessed as children: the psychotic youth fighting an invisible devil in a basement flat in Shoreditch, the teenager literally being whipped at a quasi-mystical commune in Norfolk (still, for Strike’s money, the worst place that Leda had ever taken them) and Shayla, one of the most fragile of Leda’s friends and a part-time prostitute, sobbing about the brain damage inflicted on her toddler son by a violent boyfriend.” Lethal White, Chapter 14
“Every month, Rokeby’s money melted away on handouts to friends and boyfriends, and in reckless ventures—Strike remembered a jewelry business, an arts magazine and a vegetarian restaurant, all of which failed, not to mention the commune in Norfolk that had been the worst experience of his young life.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 17
“He fell asleep thinking about the spurious groupings of astrology, and dreamed of Leda, laying out her tarot cards in the Norfolk commune of long ago.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 44
Here are some photos of Cromer, Norfolk, which might be featured in The Ink Black Heart or Strike 7:
You might also remember that around June of 2021, JK Rowling’s Twitter header featured the tombstone of George Wombwell in Highgate Cemetery.
There was a lot of speculation among fans as to whether this could be for Strike or for Fantastic Beasts; however, we believe there are some hints that point toward this location being in The Ink Black Heart.
If a London location doesn’t already feel like Strike to you, then let us turn your attention to all the lion references in Troubled Blood. Whether it was Ricci’s ring, Talbot’s astrological drawings or the mention of the mob boss, Danny ‘the Lion’ Leo, lions are mentioned about fifteen times throughout the book. A move that feels very similar to how horses appeared many times in Career of Evil only to play a much bigger role in Lethal White.
What could this mean for The Ink Black Heart? Will Strike and Robin be visiting the grave of George Wombell that features his famous lion? Or will we finally be introduced to another famous lion? As most of us know, a lion is the astrological symbol for Leo, and Robin’s googling in The Cuckoo’s Calling told us all that Jonny Rokeby’s birthday is 1 August 1948, making him a Leo.
Let us know what you think about both headers and what you think it means for future Strike books.