Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood

Troubled Blood, the fifth installment in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling), is a gripping and complex crime thriller that delves into the intricacies of a decades-old cold case, exploring themes of loss, memory, and the enduring consequences of past actions. Following private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner, Robin Ellacott, the novel combines an engrossing murder mystery with a deep exploration of the personal and professional challenges faced by its protagonists.


number of pages: 944
literary movement: CONTEMPORARY
literary genre: CRIME, DETECTIVE
1st edition: 2020


The story begins when Strike and Robin are approached by Anna Phipps, the daughter of Dr. Margot Bamborough, who disappeared without a trace over forty years earlier. Believing that her mother may have been the victim of a notorious serial killer, Anna hires the detectives to investigate her mother’s disappearance and uncover the truth behind the unsolved case.

As Strike and Robin delve into the murky world of 1970s London, they uncover a tangled web of secrets, lies, and betrayals, all connected to the enigmatic figure of Dr. Bamborough. The investigation leads them through the labyrinthine history of the case, forcing them to confront the unreliability of memory and the often-hidden motivations of those closest to the victim.

The novel also delves deeper into the personal lives of its protagonists, as they navigate the challenges of their growing business, Strike’s complicated family dynamics, and Robin’s struggles to move on from her tumultuous marriage. As the case progresses, their professional partnership continues to evolve, with the boundaries between their personal and professional lives becoming increasingly blurred.

Troubled Blood is notable for its intricate and meticulously crafted plot, which keeps the reader engaged and guessing until the very end. The novel’s richly detailed descriptions of London, both past and present, create an immersive and atmospheric reading experience, while its exploration of the psychological and emotional complexities of its characters adds depth and nuance to the narrative.


1st book – Lethal White
2nd book – Troubled Blood


Cormoran Strike

A former British military police officer turned private detective, Cormoran Strike is a tough, intelligent, and resourceful investigator. He is haunted by his past experiences and personal demons, which make him a complex and compelling character.

Robin Ellacott

Cormoran’s business partner and fellow detective, Robin is a strong, intuitive, and empathetic woman. She has proven herself to be a skilled investigator in her own right, and her partnership with Cormoran has grown stronger with each case they solve together.

Margot Bamborough

A general practitioner who disappeared in 1974, Margot is the central figure in the cold case that Cormoran and Robin are investigating. Her mysterious disappearance and the subsequent search for answers form the core of the novel’s narrative.

Anna Phipps

The daughter of Margot Bamborough, Anna hires Cormoran and Robin to find out what happened to her mother. Her determination to uncover the truth provides the impetus for the investigation.

Janice Beattie

A former colleague of Margot Bamborough, Janice provides valuable insights into the missing GP’s character and the events surrounding her disappearance. Her perspective adds depth to the investigation.

Oonagh Kennedy

Another former colleague of Margot, Oonagh’s recollections and observations contribute to the puzzle that Cormoran and Robin must piece together to solve the case.

Gloria Conti

A witness who may hold vital information about Margot’s disappearance, Gloria’s testimony is one of the many leads Cormoran and Robin must follow in their quest for the truth.

Saul Morris

A former detective who worked on Margot’s case, Saul’s involvement in the original investigation becomes a point of interest for Cormoran and Robin as they reexamine the old case files.

Dennis Creed

A notorious serial killer active during the time of Margot’s disappearance, Creed becomes a possible suspect in the case, adding a sinister element to the investigation.

Charlotte Campbell

Cormoran’s ex-girlfriend, Charlotte’s presence in his life adds an emotional dimension to the story, as Cormoran grapples with the lingering effects of their tumultuous relationship.

These main characters, along with a host of other supporting characters, contribute to the intricate and compelling narrative of Troubled Blood.

We aren’t our mistakes. It’s what we do about the mistake that shows who we are.



  • Intricate Plot: Troubled Blood follows private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott as they investigate a cold case from 1974 – the disappearance of GP Margot Bamborough, a case that has baffled the police for decades.
  • Complex Characters: The novel delves deeper into the personal lives and emotions of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott, exploring their evolving partnership and individual struggles.
  • Historical Context: The narrative spans multiple decades and incorporates aspects of British history and culture from the 1970s to the present day, providing a rich and vivid backdrop for the mystery.
  • Attention to Detail: The investigation involves a myriad of clues, suspects, and witness accounts, showcasing J.K. Rowling’s talent for crafting intricate and detailed mysteries.
  • Astrology: The novel integrates astrology and its symbolism into the investigation, providing an unconventional angle to the case and adding an extra layer of intrigue.
  • Family Dynamics: The story explores the impact of family secrets, personal tragedies, and complicated relationships on the characters, adding depth and emotion to the narrative.
  • Evolving Partnership: The professional relationship between Cormoran and Robin continues to grow, with the two becoming more reliant on each other as they face personal and professional challenges.
  • Themes of Trust and Loyalty: As Cormoran and Robin delve into the cold case, they confront issues of trust and loyalty, both in their personal lives and in their pursuit of the truth.
  • Social Commentary: The novel touches on various social issues, such as gender dynamics, mental health, and societal expectations, providing a thought-provoking dimension to the story.
  • Satisfying Conclusion: Troubled Blood delivers a satisfying and well-constructed resolution to the central mystery, while still leaving room for further exploration of the characters and their future adventures.

In conclusion, Troubled Blood is a compelling and thought-provoking crime thriller that expertly combines a fascinating murder mystery with a nuanced exploration of the personal and professional challenges faced by its protagonists. With its intricate plot, well-drawn characters, and evocative portrayal of London, the novel solidifies Robert Galbraith’s position as a master of the detective genre and leaves readers eagerly anticipating the next installment in the Cormoran Strike series.


Strike, also known as C.B. Strike, is a British television series based on the Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. The show premiered on BBC One in 2017 and has gained a loyal following for its engaging storytelling, strong character development, and faithful adaptation of the source material.

The series follows the life and work of Cormoran Strike, a private detective and war veteran with a prosthetic leg, and his resourceful assistant, Robin Ellacott. Together, they solve complex cases that often involve high-profile clients, navigating the darker side of human nature and the criminal world. The show is praised for its gritty atmosphere, intricate plotting, and the chemistry between its two lead characters, played by Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger.

Each season of the television series focuses on one of the Cormoran Strike novels, starting with The Cuckoo’s Calling, followed by The Silkworm, Career of Evil, Lethal White, and Troubled Blood. The show’s dedication to accurately portraying the novels has resonated with fans of the books, while also drawing in viewers who are new to the story.

Strike is not only a compelling crime drama but also delves into the personal lives and relationships of its protagonists. The series explores the complex dynamics between Cormoran and Robin, both in their professional partnership and their evolving personal relationship. As the series progresses, viewers become more invested in the characters’ personal struggles and growth, which adds depth and emotional weight to the crime-solving aspect of the show.

Troubled Blood (2017)



After the tremendous success of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling continued to pursue her literary career with various projects. She has written crime novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, with the Cormoran Strike series being well-received by readers and critics alike.


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