Strike is worried that Brittany Brockbank, the stepdaughter of suspect Noel Brockbank, is the owner of the scarred leg that he and Robin receive via motorbike delivery. She would be 21 years old now.
When Strike was in the SIB years ago, he was called to Germany to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse. Brittany, who was 12 at the time, had told a school friend that her stepfather was sexually abusing her. However, when questioned by the authorities about it, Brittany denies everything, afraid that it would destroy her family.
Strike and his partner Graham Hardacre go to Brockbank’s house to bring him in. Brockbank is drunk and goes at Strike with a broken bottle, so Strike knocks him out, which Strike admits was unnecessary force. Brockbank suffers massive seizures after this, and traumatic brain injury is blamed on Strike until he’s cleared of all charges when it is discovered that Brockbank had actually suffered the brain injury in a rugby game the previous weekend. Regardless, Brockbank holds Strike accountable for his continued seizures and other neurological and psychological issues.
At 12, Brittany is described as having “thin blonde hair” and a “pale, freckly face.” She wore glasses and her appearance “had reminded Strike of a yellow budgerigar,” a type of parakeet. Brittany plays an absentee role in Career of Evil in that throughout present day in the book, Brockbank is convinced that she is after him.