J.K. Rowling pens new crime thriller under pseudonym
Blockbuster novelist J.K. Rowling is returning to the crime thriller genre, with the Harry Potter creator poised to release a second book this summer under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith.
Rowling's publisher, Little, Brown, announced Monday that a second Galbraith book — entitled The Silkworm — will be released in June.
The mystery thriller will be published June 19 in the U.K. and emerge the following week in North America.
The Silkworm once again follows private investigator Cormoran Strike, who debuted in Rowling's first, well-reviewed Galbraith book The Cuckoo's Calling.
In this second tale, the Afghan War veteran-turned-detective is hired by a woman to investigate the disappearance of her husband, novelist Owen Quine, who has just completed a manuscript filled with scathing, "poison pen portraits" of those around him.
"If [Quine's] novel were to be published, it would ruin lives — meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced," the publisher said in a statement.
The book is "a compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn."
The Silkworm marks Rowling's third book for adult readers. Her first was the dark, small-town drama The Casual Vacancy, which emerged following the conclusion of her monumentally bestselling Harry Potter teen wizard novels. Last year, The Cuckoo's Calling emerged.
The crime tale received good reviews, but sold little until an insider leaked that Rowling was the actual author. The man, a partner at her law firm, apologized to her, was fined by an industry group and made a donation to the same military veterans charity to which Rowling had also donated her royalties for The Cuckoo's Calling.
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Rowling has said writing as Robert Galbraith is liberating.
"It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name," she said in 2013.