JK Rowling is embroiled in yet another trans row after it was revealed that the villain in her latest book is a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims.
Troubled Blood – written under Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith – is set to be released on September 15 and will see detective Cormoran Strike work out what happened to missing GP Margot Bamborough.
He fears she fell victim to Dennis Creed, who has been dubbed a ‘transvestite serial killer’ for murdering his victims while wearing female clothing.
An early review of the 900-page book by The Daily Telegraph – in which the critic states the book’s ‘moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress’ – sparked immediate backlash online.
Furious readers rushed to Twitter to share their thoughts, making #RIPJKRowling trend in the UK.
Others said the book – which is not released until Tuesday – is not transphobic at all and over-eager detractors should read it before jumping to conclusions.
Observer journalist Nick Cohen wrote: ‘I’ve read the latest Strike novel, and the claim it’s anti-trans is total sh***.
JK Rowling (left) is embroiled in yet another trans row after it was revealed that the villain in her latest book Troubled Blood (right) is a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims
‘I can’t tell you why it is total sh*** without giving away the ending. So until you read it yourself, which you should, you will just have to trust me: this is total sh***.’
A Twitter user called Steve replied stating: ‘But when you combine it with all the negative stereotyping she’s done about trans women, it shows a clear pattern.
‘It’s not anti-trans as such but it does play into the fears that trans women are cis males looking to spy on women.’
Cohen replied: ‘Read the bloody book why don’t you?’
Piers Morgan added: ‘The fact #RIPJKRowling is trending says all you need to know about the woke brigade – they’re nastier and more viciously intolerant than anyone they preach about.’
In June, the Harry Potter author hit the headlines after she mocked an online article using the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
Observer journalist Nick Cohen wrote: ‘I’ve read the latest Strike novel, and the claim it’s anti-trans is total sh***’
Piers Morgan added: ‘The fact #RIPJKRowling is trending says all you need to know about the woke brigade – they’re nastier and more viciously intolerant than anyone they preach about’
She was hit by what she described as ‘relentless attacks’ after she wrote: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
The acclaimed novelist then penned a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing she was sexually assaulted in her 20s and saying she still feels the scars of ‘domestic violence’ in her first marriage.
Rowling’s remarks sparked backlash from a range of stars including Ron actor Rupert Grint, Emma Watson who played Hermione in the film franchise, Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry and Eddie Redmayne, who stars in her Fantastic Beasts films.
But actor Robbie Coltrane – who played Rubeus Hagrid in the movies – told the Radio Times: ‘I don’t think what she said was offensive really.
‘I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended.
He added: ‘That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, “Oh, get over yourself”.’
Cormoran Strike – the fifth book in the series – has been published by Sphere, an imprint of the Little, Brown Book Group.
Little, Brown Book Group are owned by Hachette, one of several publishers involved in Miss Rowling’s children’s book The Ickabog.
In June, several of those involved in The Ickabog, are said to have staged their own rebellion during a heated meeting.
JK Rowling with first husband Jorge Arantes in 1999. She detailed why she has become embroiled in a bitter row on Twitter with campaigners who seek greater rights for men and women changing gender, referring to her experience of domestic abuse during her first marriage to Jorge Arantes
JK Rowling pictured with Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in 2001
THE VERY WOKE PUBLISHING HOUSE JK ROWLING WORKED HER MAGIC ON AFTER HARRY POTTER
JK Rowling published all seven of her Harry Potter novels – as well as spinoffs – with British publishing house Bloomsbury.
But she broke away from the London-based company when she launched her foray into books for adults and screenplays.
Her first book targeted at adults, The Casual Vacancy, was published with Little, Brown Book Group.
Her Cormoran Strike series, which she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, was also published with the group – as was the screenplay for global phenomenon Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Little, Brown Book Group are owned by Hachette, one of several publishers involved in Miss Rowling’s new children’s book The Ickabog.
The group has published a wide variety of feminist literature over the years, including a children’s book titled ‘Feminist Baby! He’s a Feminist Too!’
The group – whose staff have threatened to down tools in protest at Rowling’s views on gender – have also published a book simply titled Woke by Titania McGrath.
Rowling has been an undoubted success for Little, Brown Book Group – and therefore Hachette.
The Casual Vacancy was a huge hit. The book sold 125,000 copies in its first week.
The first novel in her Cormoran Strike series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was heaped with praise by critics before the real author was unmasked.
When Rowling was unveiled, sales skyrocketed by an eye-watering 156,866% in just one day.
The book sold 17,662 copies in six days in 2013.
The script of global smash-hit play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sold more than 680,000 in three days after it too was published by the group.
The figures smashed the record for the biggest single-week sale of any title this decade.
One source said: ‘Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book.
‘They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby. These staff are all very ‘woke’, mainly in their twenties and early thirties, and apparently it is an issue they feel very strongly about.’
Another insider said: ‘It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views. If they were being asked to edit a book on domestic abuse, and they were a survivor of domestic abuse, of course they would never be forced to work on it. But this is a children’s fairy tale. It is not the end of the world. They will all be having chats with their managers.’
Hachette is the parent company of Virago Press, a London-based company who publish women’s writing and feminist books. Notable published authors include Maya Angelou, Beatrix Campbell and Angela Carter.
Then, in August it was revealed that Hodder Education, part of Hachette, invited a transgender activist group to edit a court report covering a free speech ruling.
The writer of the legal article said it was ‘effectively destroyed’ due to extensive feedback from trans rights charity Mermaids.
The move by Hodder Education, part of Hachette, saw Ian Yule resign as chairman of the editorial board of A-level Law Review magazine, for which the article was written.
Mr Yule’s article was a summary of a case in which the police were likened to ‘the Gestapo or the Stasi’ for their response to an accusation that businessman Harry Miller, 55, had posted transphobic tweets.
Officers visited his workplace to tell him the tweets – including one saying ‘I was assigned mammal at birth, but my orientation is fish. Don’t mis-species me’ – were recorded as a ‘non-crime hate incident’ after receiving a single complaint in 2019.
High Court judge Mr Justice Julian Knowles’s ruling in February found the force’s actions were a ‘disproportionate interference’ with Mr Miller’s rights to freedom of expression and his tweets were ‘lawful’.
However, bosses at Hodder Education felt readers of the court report might find it ‘offensive’ and referred it to Mermaids, according to The Sunday Times.
The charity was asked to suggest ‘examples we can use to counteract the tone and opinions in the piece’ and to suggest changes to ‘anything you feel is untrue, unfair and/or offensive’.
Mermaids’ head of policy reportedly responded with four typed pages of feedback saying the article ‘doesn’t come over as balanced’.
The publisher is said to have already deleted two-thirds of the original article because it had to be ‘very careful how we present certain views’.
Mr Yule, 72, said: ‘This article contained little or no commentary by me, and no comments whatsoever on the issue of transgenderism.
‘My article did not express my own thoughts or beliefs but was a straightforward and accurate report of a High Court judgment.’
Mr Yule said the publisher’s behaviour was ‘far beyond parody’, adding: ‘If the judgment of a respected High Court judge is likely to upset such students and their teachers, they have no business studying or teaching this subject.’
JK Rowling in 2002 with Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright, who have decided to add fuel to the fire hours after the author’s statement