Belinda ‘Bijou’ Watkins

We meet Bijou, a barrister, in chapter 1. A business associate of Ilsa Herbert’s, Belinda ‘Bijou’ Watkins has invited herself to the christening of Nick and Ilsa’s son, Benjamin. Strike thinks that his late Aunt Joan would have thought the clinging and revealing pink dress Bijou was wearing inappropriate for a christening. Bijou is described as having bright sea-blue eyes, olive skin and long dark brown hair (chapter 1) and an ‘undeniably fabulous figure’ (chapter 2).

Ilsa tells Robin that Bijou is a ‘man hungry pain in the arse’ and that everyone calls her Bijou only because she tells them to. She also tells her that Bijou is having an affair with a married QC and is quite open about trying to get pregnant by him so he’ll leave his wife for her (chapter 2). Meanwhile, Bijou is trying to chat up Cormoran in the kitchen, telling him how she uses her looks and figure as a strategy in the courtroom. Strike is unimpressed.

On returning home, Strike finds that Bijou has managed to slip her telephone number into his pocket, and he immediately tears it up and throws it away. However, Bijou is tenacious and manages to get Strike’s number from Ilsa. She calls him to ask him to dinner, and in a moment of weakness he accepts (chapter 12), a decision that he comes to regret, as it results in unpleasant personal repercussions for Strike and puts the reputation of the agency at risk.