Charlie Bristow

Charlie Bristow was the brother of Strike’s client, John Bristow, and was also a childhood friend of Strike’s.  Charlie died in an accident at the age of nine.  John tells Strike that he decided to employ the agency as he recognised Strike’s name as Charlie talked about him (Part 1, Ch 3).

Strike met Charlie at Blakeyfield Prep, a private school that Strike went to briefly before his mother Leda realised she couldn’t afford the fees (Part 3, Ch 5).

Charlie was adopted by Sir Alec and Lady Yvette Bristow.  John was also adopted by the couple, and after Charlie died they adopted a third child, Lula (Part 1, Ch 3).

Strike remembers Charlie as a ‘magnetic, wild and reckless boy, pack leader of the coolest gang at Strike’s new school’ with ‘a large and luxurious house’.  He recalls returning to school after the Easter holidays and the ‘unprecedented horror’ of being informed by his teacher that Charlie had died after riding his bike over the edge of a quarry in Wales.  The teacher told the class that Charlie ‘often disobeyed grown-ups’ and was ‘perhaps showing off (Part 1, Ch 3).  

Tony Landry, John’s uncle, later tells Strike that Charlie was ‘completely delinquent’ and ‘wild’ (Part 3, Ch 5).