Max Priestwood

At the end of Lethal White, we’re told that Robin will soon be moving in with an old friend of Ilsa’s1, and in Troubled Blood, we are properly introduced to Max Priestwood. Ilsa attended university with Max’s younger brother.2

“Max, who was gay, was what Robin’s mother would have called ruggedly handsome: tall and broad-shouldered, with a full head of thick, dark blond hair and a perpetually weary look about his gray eyes.”

Initially, Robin finds it difficult to connect with Max. Robin attributes his constant state of gloominess and low mood to his lack of work and his recent split from his ex-boyfriend (also named Matthew).4 However, after the disastrous Valentine’s Day dinner party, Max opens up to Robin about his past and the two of them are able to bond and, hopefully, become better friends.5

Both Strike and Max really seem to enjoy each other’s company and appear to get along well. It probably helps that Max is a great cook! 6

“And before Max could ask anything else about her partner, she said quickly, ‘He’s right about your cooking, anyway. That was fantastic.’” 7

In The Ink Black Heart Robin tells Strike that Max’s television show has been commissioned for a second series. He and his boyfriend Richard ‘seem very keen on each other,’ which makes Robin wonder if she should find somewhere else to live before they ask her to move out (Ch 1).  Later, Robin is looking after Wolfgang, Max’s dachshund, when he becomes unwell.  Robin takes him to the vet, and Max is able to get there too before Max is put to sleep (Ch 44). Robin eventually manages to move out of Max’s and into her own flat in Walthamstow (Ch 60).

1: Lethal White, Epilogue 
2-4: Troubled Blood, Chapter 9
5: Troubled Blood, Chapter 43
6: Troubled Blood, Chapters 40 & 43
7: Troubled Blood, Chapter 43