Mildred Haviland / Muriel Chess / Mrs. Fallbrook - This person pretends to be three different characters during the novel, marrying one of the characters and then staging a disappearance that involves murdering another character and faking a suicide. At a second murder scene, this character pretends to be the owner of the victim's house. This character is revealed to have also killed a lover's spouse, prior to the other two murders.
Detective-lieutenant Al Degarmo / De Soto - This character acts as the antagonist in the novel. After covering up a murder by this character's ex-spouse, this character spreads corruption throughout the Bay City Police Department. Because of a lack of intelligence, this character makes many mistakes in the cover-up attempt, including threatening one detective and falsely arresting another who is investigating the murder. This character finally kills the ex-spouse who involved him in murder and cover-up and dies...
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