Harry Potter and the dumped books

POLICE in Suffolk are investigating the suspected theft of two copies of the eagerly awaited new Harry Potter book.The first editions of the next instalment in the hugely popular series were reportedly found dumped in a field in Bungay more than six weeks before the novel was officially published.

POLICE in Suffolk are investigating the suspected theft of two copies of the eagerly awaited new Harry Potter book.

The first editions of the next instalment in the hugely popular series were reportedly found dumped in a field in Bungay more than six weeks before the novel was officially published.

An unnamed 40-year-old father-of-two telephoned a national newspaper when he discovered the books, which are not due for publication until June 21, the newspaper reported.

Copies of Rowling's fifth instalment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, were found a quarter of a mile from Clays Ltd, a firm which will print hundreds of thousands of copies of the new book.


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Neil Blair, from literary agency Christopher Little, which represents Rowling, said yesterday that police were involved and the initial inquiries were concentrating on suspected theft.

"This is a matter that we are currently investigating and the investigation is focusing on the suspicion that this involved a theft," he said.

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Suffolk Constabulary said later that they received a call at about 11.05am yesterday "alleging the theft of Harry Potter books from premises in Bungay."

Officers were looking into the allegations and planning to speak to the complainant later yesterday , the force said.

Clays last night declined to comment on the matter.

The Sun newspaper sent a journalist to collect the editions, and was making arrangements to return the books to Harry Potter publishers Bloomsbury.

When the novel's publication was announced earlier this year, the publishers disclosed the opening words of the next instalment of the young magician's adventures.

"The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive ... The only person left outside was a teenage boy who was lying flat on his back in a flowerbed outside number four.'

Later in the novel, Rowling writes: "Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses.

"It is time," he said, "for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry. Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is more than 255,000 words long compared with more than 191,000 words in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The new book has 38 chapters, one more than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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