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.
This has of course reignited the conversation surrounding Rowling’s stance on transgender issues, having previously expressed deeply transphobic views on Twitter and her website, and people have been quick to criticise Troubled Blood across social media.
JK Rowling’s latest novel, Troubled Blood, is out today, released under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and the fifth in the Harry Potter author’s Cormoran Strike series.
The book’s premise? A “psychopathic serial killer” who is revealed to be a cis man who dresses as a woman to kill cis women.
A serial killer in J. K.’s new book is trans. For someone who has said she ‘loves’ and ‘supports’ trans people, perhaps she should support them by avoiding deeply harmful tropes about our community. But she doesn’t care – this is deliberate. It’s gross.https://t.co/8GMg4gA0Tl
– Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir (@UglaStefania) September 14, 2020
“If anyone is in two minds about her intentions being one of ‘legitimate concern’, I can tell you she’s not,” said journalist Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir. “She’s recycling alt-right propaganda and narratives pushed by conservative and anti-trans groups in society. This is deliberate”.
“Troubled Blood, the latest book in the Strike series, manages to combine both the fear of a serial killer wearing a womens dress and a serial killer wearing a Burka into one shitty novel,” wrote another user.
Troubled Blood, the latest book in the Strike series, manages to combine both the fear of a serial killer wearing a womens dress and a serial killer wearing a Burka into one shitty novel.
– Professor of Aotearoa Thirst (@GutianGang) September 14, 2020
In June, Rowling faced backlash after being accused of posting a transphobic tweet after deciding to take issue with a headline of an opinion piece that referred to “people who menstruate.”
HOW DOES THE MOST WELL KNOWN AUTHOR ON THE PLANET GET AWAY WITH WRITING A NOVEL WHERE THE MAIN ANTAGONIST IS A CIS MAN WHO PRETENDS TO BE A MUSLIM WOMEN TO COMMIT CRIMES IN THE YEAR 2020? THIS IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION @littlebrown. #TroubledBlood
– Gem⁷🐻🦋🐰 (@TaekMeSlowly) September 14, 2020
The tweet read: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
– J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
As a result, over 120 activists wrote and signed a letter – exclusively published by GLAMOUR – to Rowling on why they actively include and stand along trans people, and encouraging her to do the same.