Ted is Strike and Lucy‘s uncle, their mother’s brother. Strike describes himself as the “spitting image” of his uncle — his reference is to his physical appearance, but Strike is much like his Uncle Ted in many other ways.
Uncle Ted and Aunt Joan have played a significant role in Strike and Lucy’s life as surrogate parents. It is at their home in St. Mawes in Cornwall that the brother and sister spent half their childhood, with their aunt and uncle frequently rescuing them from dicey situations in their mother’s itinerant lifestyle. They were even willing to drive all night from St. Mawes to London to collect their niece and nephew.
A former member of the Royal Military Police, or a “Redcap,” Ted heavily influenced his nephew’s early interest in police work by telling him “thrilling stories of travel, mystery and adventure.” He is the only person in Strike’s life who supported his decision to drop out of university to join the army.
Ted is a big Arsenal F.C. fan — something his nephew also became — although “why Uncle Ted supported the Gunners, when he had lived all his life in Cornwall, was a question Strike had never asked.” Strike took his uncle to Emirates Stadium for an Arsenal vs. Manchester City match during a recent visit his aunt and uncle made to London.
Ted is described as being a peacemaker, as well as being very tidy and orderly — another characteristic Strike picked up from him as a boy — “from his toolbox to his boathouse.” Ted enjoys fly-fishing.