Strike 6, which we now know is called The Ink Black Heart, is set to be released next year (2022). We still know next to nothing about the contents of the book, but we do have a few bits of information. We know from an interview with J.K. Rowling that the book will involve a much younger set of characters to Troubled Blood, and that it will be a very different case to Troubled Blood. We also know from J.K. Rowling’s Twitter posts that there will be a scene with Strike in a London pub (nothing new there) in 2015.
As you’ll know from the previous Strike books, real-life events are scattered throughout the pages, merging our two favourite detectives in our minds with the real world. These have ranged from smaller mentions, such as the killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, which was mentioned in a chapter in Career of Evil, to events that stretch through a larger part of the story, such as the 2012 London Olympics. With this in mind, and since we know at least some of The Ink Black Heart is set in 2015, we thought we’d compile this list of some of the real-life events in 2015 that may or may not get a mention in the sixth Strike book.
- Charlie Hebdo massacre, gunmen killed 11 in France.
- Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge lit in the colours of the French flag in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attack. Could we see Strike and/or Robin passing one of these locations when they’re lit in blue, white and red?
- 30 January: 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral — church service at Westminster Abbey and a boat ride along the Thames, just how Churchill’s coffin was carried. What comes to mind here is the possibility of Strike taking Jack to watch the commemoration. But maybe not the most exciting day out….
- Hatton Garden heist by gang — the largest burglary in English legal history, taking an estimated £200 million worth of jewels.
- Birth of Princess Charlotte, fourth in line to the throne. The Royal Family are frequently mentioned in the Strike books. Prince William and Kate’s wedding was mentioned throughout Career of Evil, and Prince Harry even makes an appearance at the Paralympics event in Lethal White (“Ginger pubes, though, darling.”) So it’s definitely a possibility that the birth of Princess Charlotte will get a mention in book 6.
- UK general election, Prime Minister David Cameron returned for a second term.
- 8 May: 70th anniversary of VE Day, the end of WW2. Here seems another opportunity for Strike and Jack to bond.
- 30 May: Arsenal win the 2015 FA Cup Final, defeating Aston Villa 4–0 at Wembley. Of course, as a huge lifelong Arsenal fan, Strike is going to be delighted by this.
- Tunisia terrorist attack, where they killed 38 people – 30 of them Britons on holiday.
- Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president.
- London heatwave, with record-breaking temperatures recorded at Heathrow. A heat wave sounds like the perfect opportunity to escape into a cool London bar with a pint of Doom Bar….
- 9 July – Tube and train strikes cause travel chaos in London, with the entire Underground shut down and many rail services cancelled. Could this cause problems for Strike and Robin? Maybe Robin offers to drive Strike instead?
- 6 August – A second transport worker’s strike causes chaos in London, with the entire Underground shut down again.
- Calais migrant crisis — the body of young Syrian Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach.
- 12 September: Election of MP Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. It would be interesting to know Strike’s and Robin’s views on Corbyn.
- 5 November – Anti-capitalists protest march in central London on Bonfire Night. Three Met police officers were taken to hospital with injuries.
- Terrorist attacks shocked the world. 130 people killed in a series of attacks across the world’s capitals.
- Storm Desmond — high-speed winds and heavy rain, causing severe disruption.
- 25 December – Storm Eva: intensive flooding in northern England, with homes evacuated in Yorkshire. Could this mean a disrupted Christmas for Robin? She might just have to spend it with Strike instead of returning to Masham….
What are your thoughts on these 2015 events? Which ones can you see being the most likely to feature in The Ink Black Heart? Or can you think of others that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!