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The Ink Black Heart

by Robert Galbraith

Series: Cormoran Strike (6)

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1,1766617,062 (3.8)105
Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

The latest installment in the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Strike series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in another winding, wicked case.
When frantic, disheveled 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 cocreator 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 . . .
A gripping, fiendishly clever mystery, The Ink Black Heart is a true tour-de-force.
… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
The Ink Black Heart is the sixth installment of the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Robin Ellacott and Cormoran Strike are business partners in a private detective business started by Strike. Edie Ledwell is a co-creator of a cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, and has become a celebrity with a large following of show fans. Edie arrives at the private detectives’ office, explaining a mysterious person on social media, with the handle Anomie, is tormenting her online. Edie is desperate to learn the identity of Anomie. Robin turns down the case as she and Strike don’t handle cases from an online source. Robin and Strike become involved in the case following Edie’s murder a few days later. Edie is murdered while her co-creator is seriously wounded when they meet in Highgate Cemetery, the setting of The Ink Black Heart, to discuss the identity of Anomie.

The audiobook is more than 32 hours long, which means there is a lot of sleuthing for Robin and Strike. Robin inserts herself into an online game-themed The Ink Black Heart, where she interacts with fellow fans and moderators of the game. The detectives interview family and friends while going undercover in social situations common for cartoon fans.

This is my least favorite book in the series. First, I don’t care for adult cartoons such as the one depicted in this novel, so this primary source for a detective was not appealing and made it hard to hold my interest at times. Secondly, this book contains A LOT of online communication between characters. For me, I dislike reading typed communication in a book, in print, or in an audiobook. In an audiobook, it’s choppy and repetitive to hear the names of the people talking back and forth. This book has a lot of that communication.

Fortunately, other aspects of the novel held my interest very well. The relationship between Robin and Cormoran continues to keep the reader in suspense. Will they get together, or won’t they? Charlotte, Strike’s former girlfriend, continues to insert herself in the picture by causing problems for Strike. In more ways than one this time.

Despite not liking the core story of this book, I did enjoy enough of the book to keep me listening. It got better with time and the ending was satisfying.

I listened to the audiobook through iBooks, and Robert Glenister’s narration was outstanding.

I have photos and additional information that I'm unable to include here. It can all be found on my blog, in the link below.
A Book And A Dog ( )
  NatalieRiley | Jun 8, 2024 |
Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith

BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS:
Print: COPYRIGHT: 8/30/2022; PUBLISHER: Mulholland Books; ISBN 978-0316413039; PAGES 1024; Unabridged

Digital: Yes (ISBN: 9780316413237)

*Audio: COPYRIGHT: 8/30/2022; Audible’s ASIN: B09WBTRGNL; PUBLISHER: Mulholland Books; DURATION: 32:42:00; Unabridged

Feature Film or tv: No

SERIES:
Cormoran Strike Series, Book 6

CHARACTERS: (Not comprehensive)
Robin Ellacot – Private Detective
Cormoran Strike – Private Detective
Pat Chauncy - Detective agency's office manager
Charlotte Ross – Cormoran’s ex-fiance
Jago Ross – Charlotte’s husband
Hugh Jacks – Robin’s blind date
Madeline Courson-Miles – Cormoran’s lady friend
Josh Blay – An artist & a client’s concern
Edie Ledwell - An artist, Josh’s partner & a client’s niece
Katie – Robin’s cousin who set Robin up on a blind date skiing trip.

SUMMARY/ EVALUATION:
How I picked it: I’ve been anxiously awaiting publication since finishing book 5.
What it’s about: Robin and Cormoran have a handful of clients that keep them busy with surveillance, even with a few assistants that help with the surveillance. Someone, Edie Ledwell, comes into their office when just Pat and Robin are in. Robin agrees to talk with the girl even though she understands Pat’s warning that the girl seems a little unbalanced. This begins Robin and Cormoran’s involvement with an art community and a website of gamers who followed a game creator over from Edie’s Ink Black Heart cartoon website. Robin initially must turn Edie away, saying that Edie’s concern with the people on her website and on the gamer’s website isn’t the kind of case she and Cormoran specialize in, and suggests she consult specialists in cybercrime. But things take a turn when Edie turns up dead soon after her visit.
What I thought: This one may be consumed best in print format as there are many lengthy sections of texting from the websites that are a little hard to follow with the audio version. The digital version offers the text in two different styles to try to get the print’s version across while also trying to make it easiest for the digital book readers. I enjoyed this book as much as the previous ones, and am left once again, anxious for the next installment…when might that be Ms. Rowling/Mr. Galbraith?

AUTHOR:
Robert Galbraith:
From Wikipedia: “Joanne Rowling CH OBE FRSL (/ˈroʊlɪŋ/ "rolling";[1] born 31 July 1965), also known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author and philanthropist. She wrote Harry Potter, a seven-volume children's fantasy series published from 1997 to 2007. The series has sold over 500 million copies, been translated into at least 70 languages, and spawned a global media franchise including films and video games. The Casual Vacancy (2012) was her first novel for adults. She writes Cormoran Strike, an ongoing crime fiction series, as Robert Galbraith.” (The article is much longer, mind you.)

NARRATOR:
Robert Glenister:
“Robert Lewis Glenister (born 11 March 1960 in Watford, Hertfordshire) is an English actor. The son of the television director John Glenister and the older brother of actor Philip Glenister, his roles include con man Ash "Three Socks" Morgan in the BBC television series Hustle (2004–2012) and Nicholas Blake in the spy drama Spooks (2006–2010).”

GENRE:
Crime Fiction; Action Thriller; Suspense; Mystery, Detective

LOCATIONS:
England

TIME FRAME:
Contemporary

SUBJECTS:
Art, Crime, Murder, Internet

DEDICATION:
“To Steve and Lorna, my family, my friends and two bulwarks against anomie, with love”

SAMPLE QUOTATION:
From Chapter 1:
“Of all the couples sitting in the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz that Thursday evening, the pair that was having the most conspicuously good time was not, in fact, a couple.
Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott, private detectives, business partners and self-declared best friends, were celebrating Robin’s thirtieth birthday. Both had been slightly self-conscious on first arriving in the bar, which resembled an art deco jewel box, with its walls of dark wood and gold, and its frosted panels of Lalique glass, because each was aware that this outing was unique in the almost five years they’d known one another. Never before had they chosen to spend an evening in each other’s company outside work, without the presence of other friends or colleagues, or the pretext of injury (because there’d been an occasion a few weeks previously, when Strike had accidentally given his partner two black eyes and bought her a takeaway curry as recompense).
Even more unusually, both had had enough sleep, and each was looking their best. Robin was wearing a figure-hugging blue dress, her long strawberry-blonde hair clean and loose, and her partner had noticed the appreciative glances she’d drawn from male drinkers as she passed. He’d already complimented her on the opal lying in the hollow at the base of her throat, which had been a thirtieth birthday gift from her parents. The tiny diamonds surrounding it made a glittering halo in the bar’s golden lights, and whenever Robin moved, sparks of scarlet fire twinkled in the opal’s depths.
Strike was wearing his favourite Italian suit, with a white shirt and dark tie. His resemblance to a broken-nosed, slightly overweight Beethoven had increased now that he’d shaved off his recently grown beard, but the waitress’s warm smile as she handed Strike his first Old Fashioned reminded Robin of what her ex-husband’s new wife, Sarah Shadlock, had once said of the detective:
‘He is strangely attractive, isn’t he? Bit beaten-up-looking, but I’ve never minded that.’
What a liar she’d been: Sarah had liked her men smoothly handsome, as proven by her relentless and ultimately successful pursuit of Matthew.
Sitting facing each other in leopard-print chairs at their table for two, Strike and Robin had initially subsumed their slight awkwardness in work talk. Discussion of the cases currently on the detective agency’s books carried them through a powerful cocktail apiece, by which time their increasingly loud laughter had started drawing glances from both barmen and customers. Soon Robin’s eyes were bright and her face slightly flushed, and even Strike, who was considerably larger than his partner and well able to handle his alcohol, had taken enough bourbon to make him feel pleasantly buoyant and loose-limbed.
After their second cocktails, talk became more personal. Strike, who was the illegitimate son of a rock star he’d met only twice, told Robin that one of his half-sisters, Prudence, wanted to meet him.
‘Where does she fit in?’ Robin asked. She knew that Strike’s father had been married three times, and that her partner was the result of a one-night stand with a woman most commonly described in the press as a ‘supergroupie’, but she was hazy about the rest of the family tree.
‘She’s the other illegitimate,’ said Strike. ‘Few years younger than me. Her mother was that actress, Lindsey Fanthrope? Mixed-race woman? She’s been in everything. EastEnders, The Bill…’
‘D’you want to meet Prudence?’
‘Not sure,’ Strike admitted. ‘Can’t help feeling I’ve got enough relatives to be going on with. She’s also a therapist.’
‘What kind?’
‘Jungian.’
His expression, which compounded wariness and distaste, made Robin laugh.
‘What’s wrong with being a Jungian therapist?’
‘I dunno… I quite liked her from her texts, but…’
Trying to find the right words, Strike’s eyes found the bronze panel on the wall behind Robin’s head, which showed a naked Leda being impregnated by Zeus in the form of a swan.
‘… well, she said she hasn’t had an easy time of it either, having him as a father. But when I found out what she does for a living…’
His voice trailed away. He drank more bourbon.
‘You thought she was being insincere?’
‘Not exactly insincere…’ Strike heaved a sigh. ‘I’ve had enough matchbox psychologists telling me why I live the way I do and tracing it all back to my family, so-called. Prudence said in one of her texts that she’d found forgiving Rokeby “healing”— Sod this,’ said Strike abruptly, ‘it’s your birthday, let’s talk about your family. What does your dad do for a living? You’ve never told me.’
‘Oh, haven’t I?’ said Robin, with mild surprise. ‘He’s a professor of sheep medicine, production and reproduction.’
Strike choked on his cocktail.
‘What’s funny?’ Robin asked, eyebrows raised.
‘Sorry,’ said Strike, coughing and laughing simultaneously. ‘Wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.’
‘He’s quite an authority, I’ll have you know,’ said Robin, mock-offended.
‘Professor of sheep— What was the rest of it, again?’
‘Medicine, production and reprod— Why’s that so funny?’ Robin said, as Strike guffawed a second time.
‘Dunno, maybe the “production” and “reproduction” thing,’ said Strike. ‘And also the sheep.’
‘He’s got forty-six letters after his name. I counted when I was a kid.’”

RATING:.
5

STARTED READING – FINISHED READING
9/2/2022 to 9/26/2022 ( )
  TraSea | May 3, 2024 |
When frantic, disheveled 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. She is the co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, and is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to find the true identity of Anomie.
Robin decides the agency can’t help with this-and thinks nothing of it until a few days later, when she reads that Edie has been tapered and murdered in the Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart.
Robin and Strike become draw in to the quest to uncover the true identity of Anomie. ( )
  creighley | Apr 27, 2024 |
Couldn't finish it. ( )
  epower52 | Apr 26, 2024 |
I bought the Ink Black Heart the minute it came out in paperback and got stuck in without reacquainting myself with Books 1 – 5.

When the creators of The Ink Black Heart, a cult on-line cartoon, are attacked in Highgrove cemetery leaving Edie dead and Josh paralysed, Strike and Robin are hired to unmask the true identity of anomie - a menacing cyber character and co-creator of the IBH spinoff, Drek’s game, who patrols the web like a winged Nazgul singling out Edie for persistent persecution in an attempt to turn the fandom against her.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and reddit; trolling, ghosting and catfishing; ableism, the dark web and online gaming; the alt right, grooming and misogyny – The Ink Black Heart is not for the faint-hearted!

I managed to keep track of who’s who despite multiple online identities but didn’t come close to guessing whodunnit - there were more red herrings than you could shake a stick at!

The alternating chapter format – Strike’s POV, Robin’s POV, three channel chats - kept my attention and the pages turning. I loved the introduction of new characters: at the agency, as new love interests for Robin and Corm whose will they/won’t they remains as frustrating as ever and everybody connected to the pivotal North Grove Art Collective.

My only bugbears were the distracting quotes at the start of each chapter and the unnecessarily prolific use of the c-word (I’m not a tweeter but accept this might be a fair reflection of twitter trolling)! ( )
  geraldine_croft | Mar 22, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Two forms of darkness are there. One is Night...And one is Blindness.
--Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, Doubt
Dedication
To Steve and Lorna, my family, my friends and two bulwarks against anomie, with love
First words
Of all the couples sitting in the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz that Thursday evening, the pair that was having the most conspicuously good time was not, in fact, a couple.
Quotations
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[...] dans un pays prospère, en temps de paix — et malgré les revers de fortune qui n'épargnaient personne ou les coups de pouce du destin [...] — la personnalité était ce qui déterminait le plus sûrement la trajectoire d'une vie.
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Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

The latest installment in the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Strike series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in another winding, wicked case.
When frantic, disheveled 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 cocreator 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 . . .
A gripping, fiendishly clever mystery, The Ink Black Heart is a true tour-de-force.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Who is Anomie?
Strike and Robin trawl Twitter
in the search for clues.
(passion4reading)

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