Since 2015, J.K. Rowling introduced her fictional ego called Robert Galbraith. Rowling stated that this alternate alias has always been a private playground for her. With the latest edition of the Galbraith novels, “Troubled Blood” dives deeper into the fictional garden. At over 900 pages, this is the lengthiest Galbraith novel so far. Within the book is a controversial theme that could likely divide her readers.
The book follows a character who dresses in feminine clothing to lure female victims and murder them. Outraging many transgender rights activists, Rowling recently controversial comments came as a surprise for many of her fans. One central question arises: Is her character the result of an aesthetic choice, or is it negatively directed at the LGBTQ community? Many are unsure of what to believe.
The book’s main characters are Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott, London-based detectives. Like the previous books in the series, “Troubles Blood” can stand out independently. Although the novel can be read by itself, many agree that reading the full series is a better choice. Losing his leg while fighting in Afghanistan, Strike is a former policeman in the military. Further, Rowling introduces Robin, a traumatized young woman with a proclivity and odd satisfaction for detective work. Robin and Strike work together to solve important cases, but don’t yet know how they feel about one another. Their relationship evolution is one of the series’ forefront themes.
“Troubled Blood” takes place in 2014 with a successful Strike Detective Agency. Several investigations take place, and many new characters enter the plot. Everything changes when Strike agrees to tackle an old unsolved case. Forty years prior, Margot Bamborough left work to meet with friends at a nearby bar. She never arrived, and nobody figured out what happened to her. Stike decides to devote an entire year to solve this case. As the story continues, the histories of Margot and Robin reveal themselves as tragic and complex. Continuing the case, Strike and Robin finally come to a solution that is sad and unexpected.
Rowling tends to create novels with intricate plots with highly-individual characters. Controversies aside, Rowling remains a confident and compelling storyteller that engages millions of people worldwide. For many reasons, “Troubled Blood” will likely remain a popular and widely-debated novel this season. While capturing many loyal readers’ attention, she has also stirred controversy with her fans in the LGBTQ community. Rowling hasn’t been public about the matters and continues to work on projects to release in the future.