Known to Strike by reputation, Mitch Patterson is a private investigator who has twice worked opposing sides to Strike’s clients in divorce proceedings. Described as unpleasant by Eric Wardle, Patterson is a former senior officer in the Metropolitan Police. Wardle tells Strike that Patterson “got results” and implied that he has used violence in the past in order to do so. This alleged violence might be what led to Patterson’s “early retirement” from the Met.
Hired by an unknown person, Mitch Patterson has been making things difficult for Strike and Robin. He confronts Robin outside the House of Commons one morning and appears at her house on Albury Street another day in an attempt to speak with her. Strike also spots him on Denmark Street one morning and is insulted that Patterson appears to think Strike won’t notice him lurking in a doorway in jeans and a hoodie.
While trying to determine what Patterson is up to, Strike considers that Patterson might have been hired by the press or by a person Strike is currently investigating. Strike’s biggest concern is that Patterson’s client is Jago Ross, the husband of his former girlfriend, Charlotte.
Patterson is physically described as being “tall and broad” with “thick silver hair” and a “squashed, deeply pitted face.”