Cherie Gittins

Cherie Gittins is a former Universal Humanitarian Church member. She disappeared after leaving the church, but Strike and Robin are keen to trace her, as it was she who, aged 17, took Daiyu Wace — the Drowned Prophet — to swim on Cromer Beach the day she drowned. Strike finds a picture of the teenaged Cherie in a newspaper during his research. He describes her as having ‘crimped blonde curls and what looked like an affected smile’ (chapter 29).

Sheila Kennet, another former Universal Humanitarian Church member, tells Robin that Cherie was a silly girl who let Daiyu boss her around (chapter 16). However, Robin is told by a UHC member that Cherie was loved by many of the younger children at Chapman Farm, including Becca and Emily Pirbright, as she was a mother figure to them (chapter 60).

Cherie was punished after Daiyu died, along with Brian Kennet, Paul Draper and Abigail Wace, who were witnesses to Cherie leaving the farm with Daiyu and did nothing to stop her. Cherie was a key witness at the inquest into Daiyu’s death, along with the Heatons, who came across Cherie on the beach that morning (chapter 62).

Strike eventually manages to track Cherie down after Colonel Graves tells him that Cherie was a runaway and that her real name was Carine Makepeace, and she is finally interviewed by the agency (chapter 97).