Al Rokeby

Alexander “Al” Rokeby is the eldest of Strike’s younger brothers. He is nine years younger than Strike and is the half-sibling on their father’s side who shows the most interest in having a relationship with Strike. Al even visited Strike while he was in the hospital and has acted as a go-between for Strike and their father, Jonny Rokeby.1

Al seems quite proud of his big brother, is demonstrably affectionate toward him and doesn’t even seem to mind that the only time he ever hears from Cormoran is when he wants something from him. Al also takes a keen interest in Strike’s detective work and military experience. However, their relationship is overshadowed by Al’s guilt and/or defensiveness toward Strike because of their very different backgrounds — he seems to respect Strike for his complete self-reliance and be a bit ashamed of his own privilege and dependence on family. However, that doesn’t have any effect on Al’s indulgent lifestyle and liberal use of their father’s wealth and legacy. Strike acknowledges that Al is intelligent — he earned excellent grades in his International Baccalaureate — but he wonders if his brother has ever truly worked a day in his life.2

Al is the product of Rokeby and his third wife, Jenny Graham3, a film producer from Sydney, Australia.4 Al was educated in Switzerland at Le Rosey, an international boarding school for the offspring of the rich and famous, with campuses at Lake Geneva and Gstaad.5 Al played rugby while in school.6

Al is described as being about five foot ten inches tall, a little overweight, with mouse-brown hair, a narrow jaw and the “weak divergent squint that added an attractive strangeness to Rokeby’s face and marked Al inescapably as his father’s son.” He is a charming and enthusiastic young man.7

Al drives a bright red Alfa Romeo Spider, which comes in handy in The Silkworm.8

In Troubled Blood, Strike’s relationship with Al becomes somewhat strained when Al repeatedly encourages Strike to reconcile with their famous father, Jonny Rokeby. Something that Strike is not interested in doing.9

1: The Silkworm, Chapter 31
2: The Silkworm, Chapter 20
3: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2, Chapter 5
4: The Silkworm, Chapter 31
5: The Silkworm, Chapter 40
6: The Silkworm, Chapter 49
7: The Silkworm, Chapter 40
8: The Silkworm, Chapter 47
9: Troubled Blood, Chapters 11, 17, 37 & 56