Steve Douthwaite

“‘Which brings us to the third, and, I’d have to say, most promising suspect — always excepting Dennis Creed. This,’ said Strike, moving Satchwell’s statement from the top of a now greatly diminished pile of paper, ‘is Steve Douthwaite.’”

Strike and Robin are very interested in locating Douthwaite to question him about Margot’s disappearance. A former patient of Margot’s, he raised suspicions due to his frequent doctor’s visits and allegedly giving her gifts.2 Not only did he appear to have a particular interest in Margot, but he also had a history of women dying unnaturally around him.3

“‘Maybe it’s horrible luck,’ said Robin, ‘but women do have a habit of dying in Douthwaite’s vicinity, don’t they? His married girlfriend kills herself, his doctor goes missing, and then there’s this co-worker who drowns.… Everywhere he goes, unnatural death follows.… It’s just odd.’4

Eventually, Strike is able to locate Douthwaite in Skegness, where he runs a B&B with his wife and does karaoke.

While Douthwaite was once described as a handsome man6, now he has gray hair that is “close cropped around the ears, but a few strands had been combed over a wide expanse of sweaty forehead. His round shoulders and hangdog look gave him the air of a man whom life had ground down to a sullen obedience.” 7

It’s unclear who is more upset by their visit — Douthwaite or his wife, Donna, who is visibly upset that her husband is somehow possibly involved in a woman’s disappearance.8


1,2: Troubled Blood, Chapter 14
3,4: Troubled Blood, Chapter 37
5: Troubled Blood, Chapter 63
6: Troubled Blood, Chapter 25
7,8: Troubled Blood, Chapter 64

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