The Running Grave


In the seventh installment in the Strike series, Cormoran and Robin must rescue a man ensnared in the trap of a dangerous cult.

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is contacted by a worried father whose son, Will, has gone to join a religious cult in the depths of the Norfolk countryside.

The Universal Humanitarian Church is, on the surface, a peaceable organization that campaigns for a better world. Yet Strike discovers that beneath the surface there are deeply sinister undertones, and unexplained deaths.

In order to try to rescue Will, Strike’s business partner, Robin Ellacott, decides to infiltrate the cult, and she travels to Norfolk to live incognito among its members. But in doing so, she is unprepared for the dangers that await her there or for the toll it will take on her. . .

Utterly page-turning, The Running Grave moves Strike’s and Robin’s story forward in this epic, unforgettable seventh installment of the series.


On 12th January, 2023, J.K. Rowling revealed on Twitter that the title of the seventh novel is The Running Grave. She first gave us the clue “Disentangle the hanging venturer,” which happened to be an anagram for “the running grave.” The title was guessed by the Strike & Ellacott Files podcast account. The title is likely jointly inspired by the poem “On A Friend’s Escape From Drowning Off The Norfolk Coast” by George Barker and Dylan Thomas’ “When, Like A Running Grave“.


Here is a timeline of information we received about the book before the book’s release, from posts by J.K. Rowling.

Pre-Release Timeline

General Information

From J.K. Rowling’s Twitter header photos, we knew before the publications of the book that Norfolk locations Cromer, St John the Baptist church in Aylmerton, and the Lion’s Mouth road were to be locations in the book. Also, Rupert Court, London, was another Twitter header. She also told us on Twitter that the Italian restaurant Il Portico will be in the book and said it was one of the best Italian restaurants in London. Another of her header photos was that of an I Ching hexagram.

J.K. Rowling’s Twitter Headers

In a Twitter Q&A with JKR’s Barmy Books, Rowling revealed a few details about the book prior to release. She told us that we will finally meet Strike’s half-sister Prudence Donleavy, that Strike will stop smoking, and that someone will suggest therapy to Strike.


On 4th April 2023, Rowling revealed on Twitter that all the epigraphs for The Running Grave are from the I Ching/The Book of Changes.

As well as an epigraph from the I Ching, one of the book’s opening epigraphs is from the poem ‘When, Like A Running Grave‘ by Dylan Thomas’.

Explore the Story

Story Timeline
Music of The Running Grave
Chapman Farm Fan Maps


The Running Grave sold 50,925 copies in the week of it’s launch, which is slightly more than it’s predecessor, The Ink Black Heart, which sold 50,738 copies in the week of it’s launch.

Many Strike fans agree on The Running Grave being their favourite novel in the series so far.