Oonagh Kennedy

Oonagh Kennedy was Margot Bamborough’s best friend. The night Margot went missing, she was supposed to meet Oonagh at the Three King’s pub, but Margot never made it.1 

Strike locates Oonagh and learns that she is now a retired vicar living in Alnwick2 and is “delighted” to hear from Strike.3 

When they meet Oonagh at the cafe inside Fortnum & Mason, she is described as a “stout” woman with “full cheeks and large square front teeth of a cheerful-looking chipmunk.” She has chin-length white hair with a streak of purple down the front.4

Oonagh explains that she and Margot met in 1966 when they were both auditioning to be Playboy Club Bunny Girls and remained close friends until Margot’s disappearance in 1974. Oonagh is originally from Ireland but came to London around sixteen after running away from her strict mother — a relationship that seems to remain troubled on and off.5 

Throughout the interview, Oonagh truly does bring Margot to life by sharing aspects of her personality and also by providing Strike and Robin her own ideas of what could have happened.6 

“Whatever happened to Margot, it can’t be anything good, can it? Nigh on forty years I’ve prayed for that girl, prayed for the truth and prayed God would look after her, alive or dead. She was the best friend I ever had.”7

Oonagh appears to be a very kind person. Not only does she show interest in Robin’s new niece, but her genuine happiness that someone is trying to find answers for her best friend is truly touching.8

“Forty years ago, but it feels like yesterday. They don’t disappear, the dead. It’d be easier if they did.” 9 

Oonagh is also quite funny. She catches Strike off guard when talking about Margot’s ex-boyfriend, Paul Satchwell:

“‘He was six years older than she was, an artist and he wore his jeans so tight you could see his cock and balls right through them.’

Strike let out an involuntary snort of laughter. Oonagh looked at him.

‘Sorry,’ he muttered. ‘You’re, ah, not like most vicars I’ve met.’

‘I don’t t’ink the Good Lord will mind me mentioning cocks and balls,’ said Oonagh airily. ‘He made ’em, didn’t he?’” 10

1: Troubled Blood, Chapter 6
2: Troubled Blood, Chapter 16
3: Troubled Blood, Chapter 21
Troubled Blood, Chapter 24

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