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Cormoran Strike is a series of crime fiction books written by British author J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The story chronicles the cases of private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant (later partner) Robin Ellacott. Four novels in the series have so far been published. The fourth, Lethal White, was released on 18 September 2018. Rowling has stated that she has plans for at least another ten. The first two novels were adapted as a television series for BBC One and aired in summer 2017. The series was renewed for a second season, based on the third book, Career of Evil, which aired in two episodes in February and March 2018.
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|1. The Cuckoo's Calling|
2. The Silkworm
3. Career of Evil
4. Lethal White
|Author||J. K. Rowling (under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith)|
|Genre||Crime fiction, mystery|
|Publisher||Sphere Books (Little, Brown and Company)|
|Published||April 2013 – present|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
|No. of books||4 (to date)|
Cormoran Strike is a series of crime fiction books written by British author J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The story chronicles the cases of private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant (later partner) Robin Ellacott. Four novels in the series have so far been published. The fourth, Lethal White, was released on 18 September 2018. Rowling has stated that she has plans for at least another ten.
The first two novels were adapted as a television series for BBC One and aired in summer 2017. The series was renewed for a second season, based on the third book, Career of Evil, which aired in two episodes in February and March 2018.
|1||The Cuckoo's Calling||464||4 April 2013||978-1-4087-0399-1|
|2||The Silkworm||454||19 June 2014||978-1-4087-0402-8|
|3||Career of Evil||512||20 October 2015||978-0-7515-6227-9|
|4||Lethal White||656||18 September 2018||978-0-7515-7285-8|
In 2010, Cormoran Strike—private detective, ex–Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch investigator and the illegitimate son of famous rock star Johnny Rokeby (the result of an affair with a notorious groupie)—is broke, and his birth father's business agent is calling in the loan that he gave to Strike to open his agency. Strike lost the lower half of his right leg in an attack in Afghanistan. He had previously studied at Oxford, but left in his second year to join the Army, following the death of his mother.
The first novel begins with Strike being hired by John Bristow, the adopted brother of supermodel Lula Landry, who had fallen from her balcony three months previously. Bristow wants Strike to investigate his sister's supposed suicide. Strike also meets Robin Ellacott, who has been sent to act as his temporary secretary despite the fact he can barely afford her. Robin has just become engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Matthew, with their wedding set to happen later that year. Although Strike only hires her for one week, she turns out to be much more competent (and useful) than he first expects, and they end up extending her stay.
Strike's personal life is complicated. He has just split from his long term partner and fiancée, Charlotte Campbell, who immediately marries another man. He is closest to his half-sister Lucy (his mother's other child), with whom he grew up, though he has seven other half-siblings, the other children of Rokeby. Even his relationship with Lucy is somewhat fraught, and Strike finds himself becoming closer to Robin, who has always wanted to be a detective, than he at first feels entirely comfortable with.
Near the first book's end, after solving the Landry case, and before Robin is ready to leave for a permanent position elsewhere, Strike gives her the gift of a green silk dress she had previously tried on at the Vashti boutique as part of their investigation. This dress is significant to both of them, though its importance is unspoken by each. Finally, the two decide that Robin will stay on.
The second book begins around eight months after the conclusion of book one. Strike is approached by Leonora Quine with a plea to locate her husband, notorious writer Owen Quine, who has seemingly disappeared without trace. Quine, once hailed as a literary rebel —has struggled for years to recreate the success of his original novel and has fallen out of public favour. Strike discovers that his disappearance coincides with the leak of a manuscript for his latest novel, Bombyx Mori. The London literary community considers Bombyx Mori to be unpublishable; an unpleasant mix of rape, sadomasochism, torture, necrophilia and cannibalism, the hero is eventually tricked and eaten alive by various characters who are thinly-veiled caricatures of people in Quine's life whom he considers responsible for the destruction of his career. The investigation soon takes a different, and altogether more gruesome turn when Quine is found dead. During the investigation Robin faces personal difficulties as her fiancé's mother dies, and she must make some difficult decisions about the balance between her career and her personal life.
The third novel begins with Robin receiving a package from a courier, which she discovers contains the severed right leg of a woman. The package is accompanied by a note quoting from the Blue Öyster Cult song Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl), a tattoo that Strike's mother, a famous groupie and BÖC fan, had above her crotch. Because of that link, Strike told the police that he believed that the package had been sent by someone from his own past with a grudge against him.
They work out that the sender of the leg is also responsible for a number of other brutal attacks and reaches public infamy as the Shacklewell Ripper. Strike identifies four potential suspects from his past whom he believes would be capable of such crimes, but, as the police want to concentrate on the one Strike believes to be least likely, they set out to investigate the other three. Robin informs Strike that she dropped out to university to trauma from being raped, and the Shackleford Ripper then stalks and seriously injures Robin in an attack. Later, Robin makes a decision while investigating one of their suspects that has profound and shocking consequences for their relationship, as Strike fires her and she then heads off to marry her fiancé Matthew. Strike sets a successful trap to catch the Shacklewell Ripper and drives all night to arrive at Robin's wedding ceremony at the end of the novel.
The fourth novel begins right at that point, as Robin learns about Strike's capture of the Ripper and that Matthew had deleted Strike's messages to her, which immediately strains their marriage. Robin accepts Strike's offer of a salaried partnership in the agency, which becomes very busy due to Strike's new-found fame, but she continues to struggle with PTSD from the rape and the attack by the Ripper. A year later, the agency is hired by a Government Minister to investigate and stop an attempted blackmail against him, although he will not tell Strike or Robin the details of his actions. They find evidence of embezzlement against one of the blackmailers, but then their client dies in an apparent suicide. One of his children then hires Strike to investigate the death, because she believes her stepmother was behind it. Robin finds Matthew cheating on her and leaves him. When Strike figures out the motive for the murder, he and Robin take their evidence to the police. Although the stepmother was indeed part of the murder plot, the actual murderer was the illegitimate son of the Minister, who had always resented his treatment by the family and also had recognised that a painting thought to be worthless by the Minister's family might actually be worth over twenty million pounds. He manages to kidnap Robin and threatens her with a revolver, but Strike and the police find them before he can kill her. After leaving Matthew, Robin temporarily moves in with detective Vanessa Ekwensi, then with a friend of Strike's friends Nick and Ilsa.
|First appearance||The Cuckoo's Calling|
|Created by||Robert Galbraith|
|Portrayed by||Tom Burke|
|Family||Jonny Rokeby (father)|
Leda Strike (mother)
Alexander 'Al' Rokeby (half-brother)
Lucy Strike (half-sister)
Jeff Whittaker (stepfather)
In December 2014, it was announced that the novel series would be adapted for television by the BBC. In September 2016, Tom Burke was confirmed as having been cast as Cormoran Strike. Holliday Grainger was cast as Robin Ellacott later in November. Filming of seven hour-long episodes of the Cormoran Strike television series begun in November 2016. The series was picked up by HBO for distribution in the United States and Canada, but ended up on HBO's sibling channel Cinemax. It premiered on 27 August 2017 on BBC.
Works by J. K. Rowling
|Harry Potter series|
|Cormoran Strike series|
(as Robert Galbraith)