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JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims

Reiss Smith September 14, 2020
JK Rowling school

JK Rowling. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

A new book penned by JK Rowling finds her private detective protagonist, Cormoran Strike, investigating a cis male serial killer who dresses as a woman to kill his cis female victims, according to an early write-up.

The first review for Troubled Blood describes it as a “book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress”.

According to The Telegraph, the “meat” of the 900-page novel is an investigation into a cold case: the disappearance of a woman in 1974, believed to be a victim of a cis male serial killer whose modus operandi is dressing as a woman.

“One wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of [the] book,” writes reviewer Jake Kerridge.

Quickly, Troubled Blood was criticised on social media.

Troubled Blood is the fifth entry in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series, penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The second in the series, The Silkworm, has previously been criticised over its depiction of a trans character described as “unstable and aggressive”.

In the book, the woman, Pippa, stalks Strike before attempting to stab him.

After the attack the titular detective manages to trap Pippa in his office, where her trans identity and deadname are revealed. At this point, JK Rowling describes the character’s Adam’s apple and hands, with the Strike character warning her that prison “won’t be fun for you… Not pre-op”.

Trans journalist Katelyn Burns reviewed the passage for them in 2018, writing: “It’s an entirely common though insulting trope about trans women – that they are aggressive and unable to overcome their masculine nature, not to mention villainous – that has become all too common from cisgender authors with only a passing knowledge of trans people.”

PinkNews has contacted JK Rowling’s representatives for comment.

More: Cormoran Strike, JK Rowling, Robert Galbraith, transphobia, Troubled Blood

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