Real People of Troubled Blood

Aleister Crowley: The English occultist featured heavily in Troubled Blood. You can read more about him here.  

By Unknown – Originally published in The Equinox volume 1, issue 10 (1913) (see deletion discussion). This version taken from “Book 4, Part 2” by uploader Commons user Dnaspark99. Originally uploaded at Commons as Commons:File:Aleister Crowley, wickedest man in the world.jpg, but now deleted.,

Bay City Rollers: Linda is a fan of this Scottish pop rock band.

“… reminded Robin of the young men featured on an old Bay City Rollers LP which Robin’s mother, to her children’s hilarity, still cherished.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 16

By Rob Bogaerts (ANEFO) – GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL) 928-4152, CC0,

Cyril Connolly: An English literary critic and writer. Paul Satchwell said this about Connolly: 

“’… Kids and art don’t mix. I love ’em,’ he said roughly, ‘but Cyril Connolly had it right. The enemy of promise is the pram in the bloody ’all.’” Troubled Blood, Chapter 47

Danny Leo: The former acting boss of the Genovese crime family, the biggest of New York’s Five Mafia families. Shanker mentions him while talking to Strike about Ricci. 

“…Danny Leo, the mob boss in New York. Claimed they were related. Dunno if it’s true.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 27

Éliphas Lévi: French sage, poet and author of more than twenty books about magic, kabbalah, alchemical studies and occultism. He’s mentioned in chapter 29 of Troubled Blood as someone Bill Talbot had been interested in. 

Public Domain,

Evangeline Adams: Astrologer based in New York City. She’s mentioned in chapter 29 of Troubled Blood as someone Bill Talbot had been interested in. 

By Kathy Kreshock –, Public Domain,

Francis Barrett: Author of the book titled The Magus: a handbook of the occult and ceremonial magic. This is the book Samhain Athorn shows Strike.

“Samhain held the book wordlessly out to Strike. Though the cover had come off, the title page was intact: The Magus by Francis Barrett.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 38

George Cornell: An English criminal and member of the Richardson Gang. Shanker mentions him while talking to Strike about Ricci in chapter 27. 

Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images/Bentley Archive/Popperfoto

H.G. Wells: Writer mentioned by Creed. Strike understands Creed’s reference to the novel The Time Machine about two post-human species, one called the Eloi.

“’See yourself as one of the Eloi, do you?’ asked Strike.”

“’Interesting thing about the Eloi,’ said Creed, ‘is their total lack of conscience…’” Troubled Blood, Chapter 68

By George Charles Beresford – National Portrait Gallery: NPG x13208, Public Domain,

Harold Shipman: Serial killer doctor who murdered his patients. You can read more about him here. Strike mentions him in chapter 13 of Troubled Blood

By Wakefield Prison – Wakefield Prison,

Harold Wilson: Former prime minister of the UK. In chapter 10 of Troubled Blood, Dr. Gupta tells Strike that Margot was pleased he had won the election. 

James Caan: Actor loved by Janice Beattie.

“’… James Caan, you know,’ she sighed. ‘My dream man.’” Troubled Blood, Chapter 50

By unknown – ebay, PD-US,

James Duffield Harding: Landscape painter, lithographer and author of drawing manuals. He is featured on one of the postcards received in the Postcard case. 

“The painting on the front featured the portrait of a nineteenth-century man in a high cravat. James Duffield Harding.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 12

By Henry Perronet Briggs (1793-1844) –, Public Domain,

James Virgo Dunn: The man whose grave Robin sees at All Saints Church in Leamington Spa. You can read more about him here, which may be the same page that Robin found when googling him. 

Google Maps

Jane Birkin: A singer, actress and model. Oonagh Kennedy said that Margot had a body just like hers in chapter 24.

By Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Jerry Brudos: American serial killer. You can learn more about him here

“Brudos had been mentioned in The Demon of Paradise Park.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 33

Joni Mitchell: Joni Mitchell is featured heavily throughout Troubled Blood as she was the favorite singer of Margot Bamborough. 

“’Margot said she’d had a line from Court and Spark running through her head, all day long. Joni Mitchell’s album, Court and Spark,’ she said, seeing Robin’s puzzlement. ‘That was Margot’s religion. Joni Mitchell. She raved about that album.'” Troubled Blood, Chapter 24

By Whoknoze – Own work, Public Domain,

Joshua Reynolds: A painter whose self-portrait is on Postcard’s postcard.

“The picture on the front reproduced a self-portrait of Joshua Reynolds, his hand shading his eyes in the stereotypical pose of one staring at something indistinct.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 26

Kay Starr: Singer mentioned in chapter 8 of Troubled Blood because Creed once imitated her on a night out with his coworkers. 

By Studio Publicity – [1], Public Domain,
Lord Lucan: A British peer who disappeared after being suspected of murder. Mentioned in chapter 8 of Troubled Blood as going missing a month after Margot. You can read more about him here.—obsessed-Lord-Lucan.html

Margot Fonteyn: She was an English ballerina. Irene Hickson had a figurine of dancer that broke the morning of her interview with Strike and Robin. 

Margot Fonteyn by Roger Wood

Mary Quant: Fashion designer famous for making the mini-skirt popular and mentioned in Carl Oakden’s book about Margot. 

“Word count was boosted by the information that the mini-skirt had been popularized by Mary Quant….” Troubled Blood, Chapter 25

By Jac. de Nijs / Anefo – Nationaal Archief, CC0,

Merlyn-Rees: Former secretary of state for the Home Department. Roy Phipps mentions him when talking about Brian Tucker:

“He was petitioning Merlyn-Rees, the then Home Secretary, to let him go and dig in as many of these places as possible.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 36

By File:Merlyn Rees appearing on “After Dark”, 16 July 1988.jpg: Open Media Ltd.derivative work: Begoon – This file was derived from:  Merlyn Rees appearing on “After Dark”, 16 July 1988.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Nietzsche: Philosopher mentioned during Strike/Creed interview:

“’You have your way. I have my ways. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.’ Know who said that?’

‘Sounds like Nietzsche,’ said Strike.’” Troubled Blood, Chapter 68

Peter Tobin: Robin brings up this Scottish serial killer to Strike. You can read more about him here

“Peter Tobin, that Scottish serial killer — he attached himself to churches. He joined a religious sect at one point, under an assumed name. Then he got a job as a handyman at a church in Glasgow, where he buried that poor girl beneath the floorboards.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 13

Credit: Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell

Robert Plant: The lead singer of Led Zeppelin. Oonagh Kennedy tells Strike and Robin that Paul Satchwell, “’T’ought he was Robert Plant, so he did…’” (Chapter 24) 

By Dina Regine –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Steven Schmidt: Astrologer mentioned throughout Troubled Blood as someone Bill Talbot was very interested in. Robin eventually finds out who he was and orders his book. 

“OK, you won’t believe this, but I’ve just found Schmidt.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 45

Suhrawardy: The fifth prime minister of Pakistan. Dr. Gupta mentions him during his interview: 

“It was Suhrawardy, of course, who incited the Great Calcutta Killings. Four thousand dead in a single day.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 10 

By Unknown author – Personal collection, Public Domain,

Tiana Medaini: A woman who went missing from Lambeth at age 18. A witness, Eden Richards, brings her up to Strike and Robin during an interview. 

“… Tiana Medaini’s a black teenager from Lewisham. She went missing last year. How many front pages has Tiana been on? Why wasn’t she top of the news, like Bamborough was? Because we’re not worth the same, are we, to the press or to the bloody police?” Troubled Blood, Chapter 53

If you know anything about the disappearance of Tiana Medaini, please contact Missing People’s free, confidential and 24/7 helpline on 116 000 or email [email protected]

Tolstoy: Writer of the novel Anna Karenina referenced by Dave Polworth.

By Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii – Журнал “Записки Русского технического общества”, №8, 1908. Стр. 369. URL:, Public Domain,

Tom Waits: One of Strike’s favorite singers. Robin buys him a DVD of a Tom Waits concert for Christmas.

“The only enjoyable thing he did was to watch the DVD of Tom Waits’s No Visitors After Midnight, the taped concerts Robin had bought him for Christmas….” Troubled Blood, Chapter 31


Tyson Fury: Pro boxer mentioned by Strike: 

“… Robin can’t follow people looking like she just did three rounds with Tyson Fury.” Troubled Blood, Chapter 59

By Mike DiDomizio – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,