The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
(3.5 / 5)
This review will also draw upon the narration by Robert Glenister as I prefer to listen to books as audiobooks. I pay £7.99 a month for one book credit. My audible subscription also allows me to listen to the extensive audible library of free books. Better still, your first book upon sign-up is free!
Overview of The Ink Black Heart
When a scruffy, frantic yet well-dressed woman enters the offices of Strike and Robin, the detective agency’s receptionist is quick to label her a nutter. Robin takes a dishevelled-looking Edie Ledwell into her office for a chat.
It transpires that Edie, a successful co-creator of the popular internet animation series The Ink Black Heart, is being abused online. Edie relays the story of an anonymous online stalker who is known by the pseudonym of Anomie who is tormenting her by leaking personal information, secrets and lies about her ultimately turning the fandom she created against her.
After hearing that the persecution is taking place online, Robin concludes that the agency can’t help with matters of a cyber nature. Yet, days later Edie is found tasered and murdered in the Highgate Cemetary – where The Ink Black Heart was set. Strike and Robin are hired by Ledwell’s family to find out the secret identity of Anomie.
What I liked most
The dynamic between work-partners Strike and Robin in The Ink Black Heart is fabulous. The Cormoran Strike books are forever peeling back layers of the main characters which makes for great character development. The continuation of the will they/won’t they between strike and Robin has me rooting for them. I also initially enjoyed trying to guess who Anomie was.
Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) is incredible at describing characters, events and scenes which are absorbing and evocative.
I also found that the narrative accurately depicts the toxicity of some social media users online. It’s for this reason that the story felt like it addressed current societal issues. The story is believable and relatable to anyone who has ever received online abuse.
As ever, Robert Glenister’s narration was incredible. Glenister has a smooth tone, which makes the book easy to listen to. Glenister also perfectly encapsulates each character’s voice and his accents are on point as usual. The way Glenister depicts every voice helps build a vivid image of each character. Glenister is also effortlessly humorous and puts emotion behind the voices he narrates.
What I didn’t like about The Ink Black Heart
On the negative side, I found the long chatroom and social media dialogues to be a little boring, drawn-out and repetitive. Overall, I wasn’t very invested in the unveiling of Anomie by the end. I think the other books in this series are more thrilling and more unputdownable. The Ink Black Heart is more of a slow burn than other books from the series.
Overall, I loved this book for developing all of the characters within it. Every character whether a main character or subsidiary was developed well. After this book, I’m even more hooked by the will they/won’t they between Strike and Robin after this instalment. Although I’m still utterly engrossed in the Cormoran Strike series, I can’t say that The Ink Black Heart is my favourite so far. I didn’t find this murder case as gripping. I also found the final reveal to fall a bit flat. I didn’t find it as shocking as some of the other books in the series. However, The Ink Black Heart is still definitely well worth a read. It’s still a fantastic piece of literature!
If a whodunnit with a modern cyber twist sounds like your sort of thing, this book will definitely be right up your street!
Let me know what you think of The Ink Black Heart in the comments section below!
Book Trigger Warnings: Death, racist terminology, ableist terminology, drug and alcohol use & sexual assault.