Daniel Chard is CEO of Roper Chard, his family’s company, which published Owen Quine’s novels. Physically, Chard is described as a bald man, but his “baldness suits him” and he is “handsome in his way, with thick dark eyebrows over deep-set eyes, a hawkish nose and a thin-lipped mouth.” He is younger and fitter-looking than Strike initially imagines him to be.
As for his character traits, Nina Lascelles describes Chard as, among other things, “mysterious and dignified” as well as a shrewd businessman. The peculiar CEO is also known as a shy, awkward man — with an aura of “otherness” about him — with stress-induced eczema on his hands that is evident during his uncomfortable speech at the Roper Chard’s anniversary party, through which he avoids eye contact with the crowd. Also at that party, Chard wears a wide tie covered in illustrations of human noses, a “small but forceful statement of nonconformity in CEO.”
In Owen Quine’s infamous unpublished novel, Bombyx Mori, Daniel Chard is named Phallus Impudicus, which is the Latin name for a stinky fungus that looks like a rotting penis. It’s also implied in the book that he is gay, a murderer and possibly a rapist.
At one point, Orlando mentions to her mother and Strike that Daniel Chard touched her — something she didn’t like — when she was visiting with her father at the Roper Chard office.
During the Owen Quine case, Daniel Chard contacts Strike, wanting to meet with him. Strike and Robin hire a car to drive to Chard’s home, Tithebarn House, in Devon. Afterward, Strike’s conclusion is that Chard is “paranoid, bit eccentric and self-obsessed.”