When frantic, dishevelled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. The co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity.
Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this – and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart.
Robin and her business partner Cormoran Strike become drawn into the quest to uncover Anomie’s true identity. But with a complex web of online aliases, business interests and family conflicts to navigate, Strike and Robin find themselves embroiled in a case that stretches their powers of deduction to the limits – and which threatens them in new and horrifying ways . . .
On 25th April 2020, J.K. Rowling revealed on Twitter that she was working on the sixth novel in the series. She tweeted that she was writing a scene with Strike sat in a crowded London bar in 2015.
Funny you should ask. I’m with him right now in a crowded London bar. But we’re also in 2015. https://t.co/6gzc1rleCY— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 25, 2020
We can now guess, since reading the book, that this “crowded London bar” was likely to have been the Ship & Shovel. It’s the only crowded bar where Strike goes alone in the book. There are so many people there that he even trips over a handbag.
On Friday 3rd December 2021, J.K. Rowling announced that she had finished writing the book and gave fans on Twitter the chance to guess the title, giving us a black heart emoji as a clue. She then revealed the title to be The Ink Black Heart.
Shortly before the book cover and synopsis reveal, Rowling updated her Twitter header to a photo of Highgate Cemetery, which we now know appears on the cover of the book and is featured heavily in the story.
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The Ink Black Heart sold 50,738 copies in the UK in its first week and reached the number one spot in the Sunday Times Bestseller list.
In the US, the book sold 33,733 copies in its first week and reached number 2.