The much older half-sister of Kelsey Platt — by 24 years — Hazel Furley is a nurse living with her romantic partner, Ray Williams. Three years previously, Kelsey and Hazel’s mother and Kelsey’s father died in a car crash in Spain, and teenage Kelsey had been living with Hazel and Ray ever since. Unfortunately, Hazel and Kelsey did not get along very well.
Hazel requests to see Strike, who goes to visit Hazel at her immaculate home in West Finchley on Summers Road. Hazel is described as being middle-aged with dark hair and “the look of a Bruegel peasant, with her rounded cheeks, prominent chin and wide nose.” Her eyebrows are “as thick and bushy as tiger moth caterpillars.”
A weeping Hazel gives Strike quite a bit of information about Kelsey, including the fact that Kelsey was a compulsive liar. Also, Hazel couldn’t understand and was frustrated by Kelsey’s struggle with body integrity identity disorder.