The fourth instalment of Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series is set for release on 18th September, J K Rowling has revealed.
The author tweeted from her Robert Galbraith account that Lethal White was available to pre-order from Tuesday (10th July) ahead of its autumn release while unveiling the new cover design.
Publisher Little, Brown said the next story would revolve around a troubled young man called Billy, who comes to private detective Strike’s office to ask for help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child. Strike is left deeply unsettled by the experience, while Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
“Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside,” said Little, Brown.
The blurb also teases about developments in Strike and Ellacott's relationship.
“Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been - Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that,” it said.
Waterstones has already tipped the title to be once of its bestselling for the crucial autumn period. Speaking as part of The Bookseller’s Super Thursday preview two weeks ago, the retailer’s buying team said it expected double success for Rowling this Christmas, with the next playscript in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald (Little, Brown), also due out on 16th November.
The chain bookseller is offering pre-orders for half price at £10, with those who order it also put into a prize draw to win a signed copy of the novel. The book is not yet advertised for sale on other bookseller’s sites such as Amazon and Blackwell’s.
The three previous Galbraith books, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil (all Little, Brown) have so far sold 1.02 million print copies for £7.5m through Nielsen BookScan.