JK ROWLING’S new novel includes references to phone-hacking and a disreputable journalist among its cast of characters.
The Harry Potter writer gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and has spoken out at what she said was press intrusion into her life.
The Silkworm, her second crime thriller written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, begins with its private detective hero Cormoran Strike passing over evidence of an affair between a member of the House of Lords and his secretary to a journalist.
When the journalist asks how he got the woman to talk to him, he replies “I listened”, prompting the reporter to reply: “All the other private dicks I use spend their time hacking phone messages.”
The first chapter also includes a scene where Strike warns the reporter: “Instructing people to hack phones is illegal as well, I’ve heard.”
The real identity of Robert Galbraith was revealed last year, sending the first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, shooting to the top of book charts.
Last year, Rowling accepted a substantial donation to charity from the law firm which breached her confidentiality by revealing she was writing under a pseudonym.
Only a handful of trusted advisers, family and friends were initially aware of Galbraith’s true identity until the story made headlines worldwide.
The Silkworm sees her hero on the trail of a killer who bumps off a novelist.
It is due to be published on June 19 and sees Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott, unravelling the death of writer Owen Quine after first being called in to investigate his disappearance.
The investigators uncover a manuscript in which many of Quine’s associates are portrayed unflatteringly - which would have ruined their lives if published and could prove to be a motive for a killer.