Matthew Cunliffe

Both born and raised in Masham, Matthew and Robin became boyfriend and girlfriend in Sixth Form at school. They stayed together throughout university and Robin moved down to London to follow Matthew in his accountancy position, not realising that her own career as a private detective lay in waiting for her there. The night before starting her job with Strike, Matthew – normally discreet and not particularly romantic – proposes to Robin in public, on the steps at Piccadilly Circus, a move she finds delightfully out of character for him.

Matthew and Strike

Matthew isn’t keen on Robin’s job with Strike. Initially casting doubt on Strike’s credentials as a detective – “…anyone can do that. Anyone can google people” – he soon becomes jealous and feels threatened by Strike. He uses Robin’s past experience of violent assault to try to convince her the job isn’t safe, or good for her, but that only convinces Robin to fight harder for the career she has secretly always hoped for.

Matthew and Robin
Matthew and Robin

Life with Robin

Matthew and Robin’s relationship is bumpy: at one point their wedding looks unlikely when secrets from Matthew’s past crop up; just before they marry Matthew attempts to sabotage Robin and Strike’s working relationship by intercepting messages on her phone. Though Robin tries repeatedly to balance her husband’s fragile ego with the job that means everything to her, eventually the cracks in their relationship show up again.

Charlotte Campbell

Charlotte Ross, née Campbell

Charlotte Campbell, daughter of 60s It Girl Tula Clermont, and academic and broadcaster Sir Anthony Campbell, had a privileged yet incredibly troubled upbringing, leading to an overwhelming presence of drama throughout her life, including running away from school, stints in rehab, and a stepfather that tried to commit her. All of which set the scene for her turbulent relationship with Strike.