is a murder mystery available as an ebook - on this page you'll find descriptions of some of the
principle characters in the novel.
A man in his mid-thirties, Ronnie comes from Silvertown, London,
close by the sugar works. He's an ordinary working-class
bloke, making a living delivering paraffin door-to-door.
He lives in a small, terraced house by the gasworks, close to
Poole Quay, where the coal boats unload. He moved to Poole
when his aunt died, and left him the house. He's trying to
get by, and trying to forget his past as a small-time villain in
London's East End, in his younger days. Cynical,
disillusioned, and misanthropic, Ronnie's relationship with the
bottle is rather closer than it ought to be. But he's a
decent sort when all's said and done, and he's devoted to Jenny.
He'll do the right thing by her. At least, he'll try to.
Not really Jenny Delaney at all, she's Jenny Miller, a
railwayman's daughter, pretty, if a little thin. But she
lives with Ronnie, and you have to be a bit careful, living in
sin isn't approved of. Jenny is twenty-five, and doesn't
have much of a past, she works at the pottery and lived with her
mum and dad in a railway cottage all her life. Apart from
that year she went away, of course, and she's a bit cagey about
that. She's not short of ideas though, an ex-communist,
she still has a good sense of what's right and wrong. And
given her head and a fair wind, she can take control, sort
things out. She's quite fond of Ronnie, she'd tell anyone
that. And she'd do almost anything to defend him, if it
was the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is
important to Jenny. That comes first. Come the
revolution, she knows what side of the barricades she'd be on.
Labour councillor for Harbour Ward, on Poole Borough Council.
he's one of a small group of Labour councillors, they can't do
much, just make a fuss and hope they get noticed. He comes
from Stoke-on-Trent, son of a potter, but went to a good school
after he won a scholarship, and then to Cambridge. He's on
the left of the Labour Party, and has links with Tom Driberg,
through his partner Benny, who lives in Barking, to the east of
London. He's a decent man. Too decent for his own
Jenny's dad. A railwayman, trade unionist and communist,
he's an uncompromising sort of chap. He stood up for
Khrushchev when he invaded Hungary, even though it lost him a lot
of friends after they left the Communist Party in disgust -
including Jenny. But he's still there, waving the red
flag. And he's no time for these Trotskyists that are
trying to get into the Labour Party. The Soviet Union is
the true workers' state, he believes. Either you're with
that, or against it.
An honest copper, at heart. He used to work the
back in his days as a sergeant. But he didn't have much
success, what with the gangs and senior coppers all being
freemasons, and he wouldn't have anything to do with that.
They stuck together, and kept him in his place. So when he
got the chance of promotion in a south coast town, he jumped at
it. And who should he find down there but his old
adversary Ronnie Delaney, who he'd been chasing round the East
End for years. What a weird coincidence. Just his
luck. Still, maybe he'll be able to get him this time.
Once and for all.
Married to Alderman James, a wealthy timber importer, they live
in a posh house in Canford Cliffs, on the Diamond Mile. Alderman
James is a rich and powerful man, chairman of the harbour
trustees, influential on the council. Up to a point.
Veronica is elegant, beautiful and fashionable, she turns heads.
She turns Ronnie's head. But like Ronnie, Veronica has a
past too, she isn't quite what she seems. Jenny does for
her, runs her duster over the onyx cigarette lighter and
gardenia vase in Veronica's office. But in spite of their
social class differences, Veronica and Jenny have something
important in common. They would make a good team.