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"Being Johnny" by Nigel Gordon


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Well, I have made it (again) through all 60 chapters of "Living with Johnny," and as threatened have made my own character list.  The spreadsheet has 255 lines in it, and some entries have more than one character in a line.  I am pasting it below.

There is some confusion through duplication of character names (different characters, same name) and from unexplained name changes (Jack and Flora become Stan and Flora in a number of places; Mike Carlton becomes Mike Clayton or Mark Carlton from time to time).   But keeping track of all this in such an immense story is obviously a major task.

It's also possible that I have unknowingly listed the same character twice due to name uncertainty.

I think I will wait until tomorrow's posting to begin reading the new story.  We left off the previous one with quite a cliffhanger about Trevor . . . 


Character Name First Found At Description/Comments
Johnny Ch. 1 Son of narrator Mike Carlton; age 15; gay; "John Bernard Carlton-Smith"
Mike Carlton Ch. 1  Narrator; father of Johnny; 40s; called Mark at times; called Mike Clayton at times
Anne James Ch. 1 Lunchtime barmaid at Crown & Anchor; widowed when first husband Tom died at age 27; marries Mike
Colin Matterson Ch. 1 Day student at Johnny's last school
Bernard Lebrun Ch. 1 Solicitor extraordinaire; Johnny's godfather; childhood friend of Mike; "Bernard Solomon Joseph Micah Lebrun"; firm is LeBrun, Dean & Cohen
Bob Southern Ch. 1 Literary agent
Steve Johnson Ch. 2 Hamden boat yard manager; uncle of Anne
George Hamden Ch. 2 Actual owner of boat yard; disabled by stroke
Jack Ch. 2 Local publican (Crown & Anchor); Anne's boss; cousin of Mary at the Crooked Man
Arthur John Lee Ch. 2 Technical whiz kid at J. Lee & Sons; Trevor's partner
Zachary Meyer Ch. 2 Wealth management consultant; sometimes Mayer
Matt Price Ch. 2 Surveyor and builder
Ben Carlton Ch. 2 Younger brother of Mark Carlton
Phil Smith Ch. 2 Ben's partner, stage name Matthew Lewis; brother of Mike's ex-wife; successful cinema director
Aunt Jane Ch. 2 Mike's "aunt"; actually Ben's and Mike's godmother
Mrs. M Ch. 2 Manager at Manston; real name Gelda Guttenstein
Sheila Lane Ch. 3 Mike's accountant
Jane Talbot Ch. 3 Junior partner in accounting firm; becomes Mike's accountant
Aunt Sarah Ch. 3 Bernard's mother
Debora Lebrun Ch. 3 Bernard's wife; sometimes Debra
Beryl Smith Ch. 3 A/k/a Janet Carlton-Smith; Mike's ex-wife
Hon. Malcolm Davenport Ch. 3 Fiancé of Beryl; also referred to as Hon. Edward
Joseph Ch. 3 Brother of Debora; deceased
Micah Lebrun Ch. 3 Son of Bernard; studying law
Joseph Lebrun Ch. 3 Younger son of Bernard; plans to be a barber
Saul Robertson Ch. 3 Barber; training Joseph; also called Sol
Aunt Ruth Ch. 3 Bernard's aunt
Bethany Ch. 5 Micah's girlfriend; studying music at U of Manchester
Cousin Daniel Ch. 5 Debora's cousin; a shrink
David, Benjamin, Rachel Lebrun Ch. 5 Siblings of Bernard Lebrun
Clive Ch. 5 Beryl's live-in lover for two years
Margaret Fletcher Ch. 5 Her son-in-law interested in Mike's bungalow property
Gerald Ch. 7 House manager at Manston
Mrs. [Rosemary] Dwight Ch. 7 Cook at Manston
Jack and Flora Smith Ch. 7 Phil's parents (also Beryl's); Jack becomes Stan sometimes
Bains Ch. 7 Chauffeur from Manston
Simon Ch. 8 Clerk at Bernard's law office
Sue Southern Ch. 8 Wife of Bob Southern, literary agent
Trevor Spade Ch. 8 Child star; son of Bob & Sue Southern
Frank Talbot Ch. 8 Financial reporter; shildhood friend of Mike and Bernard
Marge Price Ch. 8 Wife of Matt Price (surveyor)
Aunt June Ch. 8 Mike's aunt
Aunt Hilda Ch. 8 Mike's aunt
Cousin Stan Ch. 8 Mike's cousin; eldest son of Aunt June
Cousin James Ch. 8 Mike's cousin; underwater photographer & dive instructor
Tara Ch. 8 Wife of cousin James; from Tobago
Tyler Lawrence Ch. 8 Actor; also from Tobago
Mark Gleeson Ch. 9 Cinema director; imprisoned for child sexual abuse; frequently "Glesson"
Allen Davidson Ch. 9 Security expert; head of security at Manston
"Dean" (Andrew Mark Mayers) Ch. 9 Production assistant for Mark Gleeson
Martha Hartmann Ch. 9 Head of Bob's agency; disabled by stroke
Ian Jenkins Ch. 11 Student taking hairdressing course; age 16; attacked by Brethren youths
Robert Jenkins Ch. 11 Younger brother of Ian; "Robby"
Alison McCarthy Ch. 11 Half-sister of Mary Jenkins's late husband; lives at Jenkins farm
Mary Jenkins Ch. 11 Mother of Terry, Ian and Robert; a/k/a Mary Simpson
Hendersons Ch. 11 Brethren family
Terry Jenkins Ch. 11 Mary's oldest son; age 18; in prison for assault
Peter Henderson Ch. 11 "Brother Peter"; head of the Brethren
Sir Harold Gleeson QC Ch. 12 Barrister 
Steve Webber Ch. 12 Reporter; brother-in-law of Matt Price
Edith Jenkins Ch. 12 Heads East London crime family; moving into legitimate, if questionable, businesses; fixer; great aunt of John Jenkins (Mary's late husband)
Albert Jenkins Ch. 12 Edith's husband; in prison
Jack Edwards Ch. 13 Manager of Home Farm complex; due to retire
Peter  Ch. 13 Incoming farm manager at Manston
Leni Taylor Ch. 13 Phil's childhood friend; now driver and bodyguard; sometimes "Liam"
Dorothy Ch. 13 Mother of Toby
Barry Gales Ch. 14 Photographer accomplice of Gleeson and Mayers
Saul Lichtenstein Ch. 14 Producer from LA; financed two of Phil's films; tried to molest Trevor
Peter Torrey Ch. 14 Lichtenstein's assistant; pedophile
Holloway sisters Ch. 16 Dupes giving to the Brethren for charity
Sandra Hartmann Ch. 16 Martha Hartmann's daughter; redhead; Bob's old flame
Matthew Ch. 16 Part-time yacht instructor; cousin of Steve from boatyard
Tara James Ch. 17 Building inspector
Tommy Ch. 17 Worker at Steve's boatyard
Phillip Henderson Ch. 17 Brother of Peter Henderson
Peter McCormac Ch. 17 Nephew of Peter Henderson
Detective Sgt. McCormac Ch. 17 Father of Peter McCormac; investigating officer in Jenkins cases
Charles Mayer Ch. 17 Corrupt defense solicitor for Ian's brother 
John Jenkins Ch. 17 Ian's father
Michael Kent Ch. 17 Elderly former pastor of local Brethren church
Jenny Ch. 18 Sister of Anne
Dr. Lionel Portage Ch. 18 Museum services; archaeological expert
Mark Dowland Ch. 19 Professsor, author, and radio/TV personality
Sarah Colman Ch. 19 Ph.D. student surveying mill race
Louise Malton Ch. 19 New solicitor for Bob's independent agency
Ab & Ruth Ledermann Ch. 19 Ruth had Micah's child (boy)
Ms. Brettman Ch. 19 Executive assistant brought in by Ritter-Landau
Jan Ritter Ch. 19 Principal of Ritter-Landau agency
John Henderson Ch. 19 Part of Henderson clan; manages college refectory
Diana Ch. 19 A Miss Jenkins operative
Dr. Peter Lovell Ch. 20 Steve's partner
Tommy (4) and Susan (5) Ch. 20 Steve and Peter's kids
Carol Price Ch. 20 Matt's ex-wife
Chris Dalmen Ch. 20 Editor of a leading science magazine
Tom France Ch. 20 Science author who has stroke
Abe Kaufman Ch. 21 Had barber shop; father-in-law to Saul; part of Jewish mafia
Sonny Kaufman Ch. 21 Nephew of Abe; another crook
Martin Ch. 21 Senior worker at boatyard; qualified boatbuilder
Chris Klempt Ch. 21 BBC producer
Mrs. Craven Ch. 21 Ran newsagent shop on Hill Road
Janet Long Ch. 21 TV/film agent joining Bob's new firm
Marge (Maggie) Ch. 21 Proprietor of Marge's Café; sister of Mary at Crooked Man
Mr. Willis Ch. 22 Head of vocational training at Southmead College
Mrs. Jarrom Ch. 22 Admisions tutor at Southmead College
Dr. Laurent Ch. 22 Head of languages at Southmead College
Robert Henderson Ch. 22 Running for Commodore at the Yacht Club
Margaret Slater Ch. 22 Draughting teacher in London
Judith Durncross Ch. 23 Youngest of the Holloway sisters
Julia Ch. 23 Miss Jenkins's niece
Dr. Jarrod Ch. 24 Family friend of Anne; treated Arthur at roadside
June Ravensbrook Ch. 24 Barrister 
Cmdr. Janet Richards Ch. 24 From the Met; head of organised crime unit; also known as Richardson at times
Martin Clay Ch. 24 Solicitor; sometimes called Mark 
Mr. & Mrs. Lee Ch. 24 Arthur's parents
Nathaniel Thompson Ch. 24 Witness on Arthur's POA and AHD (Neal?)
Magdalen Granger Ch. 24 Witness on Arthur's POA and AHD (Maddie?)
Peter Braylow Ch. 24 London alias used by Brother Peter
Neal Porter-Thompson Ch. 24 Nephew of Miss Jenkins; tech whiz; a/k/a Neil
Magdalene "Maddie" Atkins Ch. 24 Neal's fiancée; skilled in martial arts
Chief Inspector Manley Ch. 24 From the Met; head of organised crime unit
Bill Kingsman Ch. 24 IT guy at Dunford Ceramics; son-in-law of Robert Henderson
Ruben Ch. 26 Proprietor of Rubenstein's café
Rebecca Rubenstein Ch. 26 Ruben's mother; friend of Aunt Sarah
Steff Manning Ch. 27 Principal of Manning & Son solicitors
Gerald Manning Ch. 27 Father of Steff Manning 
Richard Willams Ch. 27 SRN engaged to care for Arthur on houseboat
Mr. Gregory Ch. 27 Head of department at Anne's college
Paula Timmings Ch. 27 Fellow student in Anne's subject
Dennis "Figgy" Ferguson Ch. 28 Small-time crook; caught trying to harm Arthur; also referred to as Finnegan
Solomon Grundy Ch. 28 Bigger crook; Figgy works for him
Great Uncle Frank Ch. 28 Safecracker parachuted in France 1944
John Mitchell Ch. 28 Prof. at LSE who sprang Uncle Frank; saboteur in WWII
Klaus Brinkerhoff Ch. 28 German book publisher
Greg Ch. 28 Site manager for Matt Price
Prevention Officer Dawlish Ch. 28 HMRC officer
Prevention Officer Carter Ch. 28 HMRC officer
Madame Sourier Ch. 28 Concierge of Ben & Phil's Paris apartment building
Grace Ch. 28 Anne's mother-in-law (John's mother)
Jane Ch. 28 Daughter of Grace; senior engineering tutor
Margaret Ch. 28 Older woman (50) in Anne's college class
Tom Ch. 28 Fellow student in Anne's class; wheelchair bound 
Marcel Ch. 28 Youngest son of Jean-Paul
Jean-Paul Ch. 28 Prof. at Uni in France
Margaretta Ch. 28 Spouse of Jean-Paul
Pierre and David Ch. 28 Older sons of Jean-Paul
Dave Ch. 28 50-year-old in Johnny's math class
Michael Henderson Ch. 28 Victim of Ian's stabbing with scissors
Rob, Lee Ch. 31 Security personnel working for Ben/Allen
Dan Ch. 31 Neal's second cousin, helping with security at Priory
Det. Insp. Martin Stevens Ch. 32 Immediate superior of McCormac
Dr. Leo Granger Ch. 32 Police surgeon
Professor Janson Ch. 32 Performed autospy on John Henderson
Lance Fletcher   MP from Suddenham; junior minister at Home Office
Crowthorne Ch. 32 MP from London
DCI Carleigh Ch. 32 DI Stevens's boss
Doctor John Nygara Ch. 32 Johnny's former MD
Doctor Su Graham Ch. 32 Nygara's wife; practices separately
Sharon Meddler Ch. 33 TV interviewer of Johnny
Martin Shelt Ch. 34 Independent TV producer
Irene Kaufman Ch. 34 On-air talent agent for Mike
Francis & Miriam Ch. 34 Miss Jenkins's workers for Arthur's business
Marcia Miriam Glockenberg Ch. 34 Another student that Anne meets
Chawish Ch. 34 Marcia's abusive ex-husband; Pakistani
Tariq Ch. 34 Marcia's son; assaulted and injured by Chawish
Jasmin Ch. 34 Marcia's daughter
Aunt Miriam Ch. 35 Marcia's aunt who is a rabbi
Stanley Ch. 35 Miss Jenkins's driver/bodyguard
Bernard Saunders Ch. 35 Moving agent recommended by Miss Jenkins
James Daniel "Jaydee" Seymour Jr. Ch. 36 Tariq's boyfriend who is kidnapped to Trinidad
James "Jamie" Seymour Ch. 36 Jaydee's father; trauma surgeon now in Australia
Aunt Louise Ch. 37 Steve's sister; Asst. Dir. Of Education
Prof. Brian Cox Ch. 37 Host on Infinite Monkey Cage
Stefan Binder Ch. 37 Conference organizer in Europe
Marlene Ch. 37 Solicitor who James Seymour referred to by Bernard
Chief Inspector Gray  Ch. 37 Special Branch
Joe and Miriam Ch. 37 Debora's parents
Uncle Barry Ch. 38 Tyler's uncle
Guy Martin Ch. 39 On-air presenter
Mrs. Dent Ch. 39 Cleaner who works at Priory twice a week
Helen Mayhew Ch. 39 CEO of a finance house
Stanley Porter Ch. 39 Moneylender; father of Neal Thompson
George Porter Ch. 40 Father of Stanley; One of biggest moneylenders in London
Michael Andreotti Ch. 40 Student at Machenson House, one of Johnny's former schools; rich and spoiled
Oncle Jacques Ch. 40 Uncle of Marcel in France
Sebastian Ch. 40 Sex partners mentioned by Johnny
Dr. Cricks Ch. 40 Sex partners mentioned by Johnny
Guy Reames Ch. 40 Mike's solicitor during divorce from Beryl; now DJ
Susan Gells Ch. 41 Fifth year classmate of JayDee; "Smelly Jelly"
Bob Crawford Ch. 41 Minority owner of Chawish's business; the real brains
Magdalene  Ch. 41 Marcel's cousin
John Dupree Ch. 41 Canadian delegate to Paris conference
Marc Dube Ch. 41 13-yr-old grandson of John Dupree
Professor James Ch. 41 An organizer of Paris conference
Héloise Ch. 41 Proprietor of restaurant near conference hotel; sister-in-law of John Dupree
Doreen Ch. 42 Local solicitor for Marcia (referred by Bernard)
Danny Ch. 44 Former roommate of Johnny.  Mother is a witch.
Martin Ch. 44 Cousin of James (JayDee's father)
Donna and Richard Ch. 44 Mike's cousin and her husband; living in Holland
Susan Kilpatrick Ch. 46 Expert witness on False Memory Syndrome
Steven Jones Ch. 48 Legal secretary at Bernard's firm
Susan Mitchell Ch. 48 Law clerk at Bernard's firm
Elle Martin Ch. 48 Press agent for Phil
Vera Taylor Ch. 48 Mother of Leni Taylor; complaining witness re Phil
Simone Ch. 49 One of Miss Jenkins's "family business" workers
Sir David Stellerson QC Ch. 49 Lead counsel for Mayers prosecution
Lee Sanderson Ch. 49 Defendant in assault case; becomes Mike's PA
Darren Graham Ch. 49 Psychology graduate; clerk for Bernard; leaving for New Zealand
Chris Ch. 50 Marcia' cousin; auto mechanic/engineer - Formula 1
Jan (Janet Catherine) Ch. 50 Chris's ex-wife; hospitality management expert
Clair Ch. 50 Chris's current wife
Henrik Ch. 50  Was going to marry Jan; was already married
Auntie Miriam & Uncle Abe Ch. 50 Brought up Chris
Barry and Dean Ch. 50 Stunt doubles for Trevor and Tyler
Alex Ch. 51 Stunt coordinator for Phil's film
Brad Jenkins Ch. 51 Stuntman and Alex's partner
George and Gill Ch. 51 Body doubles for Ben and Phil
Mark Thompson Ch. 51 Script writer of "Snowball"; cousin of Neal
Kathy Donaldson Ch. 52 Pupil to Sir David
Tim Tinkermann Ch. 52 From Crown Prosecution Service
Mrs. Justice Godwin Ch. 52 Trial judge in Mayers trial
Brian Potter Ch. 53 Great nephew of Miss Jenkins; schoolmate of Ben
Sammy Ch. 53 Senior clerk at Sir David's chambers
Det. Insp. Wilkinson Ch. 53 Officer who executed search warrant on Mayers
Mary Shields Ch. 53 Casting director for Phil's film
Sgt. Judith Mallon Ch. 55 Essex Constabulary
Constable Tony Richards Ch. 55 Essex Constabulary
Det. Supt. Lawlan Ch. 55 Police investigating Beryl's killing
Det. Sgt. Crawshaw Ch. 55 Police investigating Beryl's killing
Klaus Rikkenberg Ch. 55 Accused of being Treblinka guard; rep'd by Beryl
Josef Muller Ch. 55 Real name of Rikkenberg
Uncle George Ch. 56 Tyler's uncle in New Jersey
Jack and Sue Ch. 56 Owners of film equipment business Tyler is buying
Phillip Sanston Ch. 56 Investigator from Yalend Insurance
Steven and Jim Ch. 56 Horticulture students at Sohnny's college
Uncle Jack Ch. 57 Jim's mother's brother who is gay
Jennifer Morley Ch. 57 Essex Probation Services
Det. Sgt. James Ch. 57 Assisting Det. Supt. Lawlan
George Thompson Ch. 57 At one time one of the biggest villains in London
Kray Brothers Ch. 57 Criminal family in London
Master James Ch. 57 "Nasty operator" taken down by Miss Jenkins
Antoinette Ch. 58 Colleague of Simone; worked for Miss Jenkins
Charles Demain Ch. 58 Of Demain & Toques retail group; backer of Master James
Roman Sanderson Ch. 58 Lee Sanderson's father
Carol Ch. 58 Sister of Mike's mother; Donna's mother
Joan Ch. 58 Sister of Mike's Father; Richard's mother
Uncle Henk Ch. 58 Joan's husband
Martin Ch. 58 Martial arts instructor for Lee
Paul Ch. 59 Anne's brother living in Canada
Margaret Stapleford Ch. 59 Antique dealer from auction
Uncle George Ch. 59 Auctioneer; uncle of Steven (Jim's boyfriend)
Aunt Grace Ch. 59 Uncle George's spouse; her brother is Steven's father
Rhoda Ch. 59 Steven's mother
Sharon Stevens Ch. 60 Assistant Director on "That Woman's Son"



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3 hours ago, Merkin said:

I applaud this incredible effort, Rutabaga.  Having the thumbnail bios and the chapter reference will be invaluable.  Thanks.
BTW, Nigel, don't you plan on posting twice a week?

At the moment it is only being posted once a week and will be until the editing process has been finished on all 61 chapters. At the moment only 33 chapters have been through the full editing process and only 9 through the full review process. Hope to be through the full editing process about the end of April.

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18 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

Well, I have made it (again) through all 60 chapters of "Living with Johnny," and as threatened have made my own character list.  The spreadsheet has 255 lines in it, and some entries have more than one character in a line.  I am pasting it below.

There is actually a full listing here: http://awesomedude.com/nigel_gordon/being-johnny/being-johnny-character-list.htm

Although it is the listing for Being Johnny, it contains the Living with Johnny characters as reference is made to them. I thought there was a character listing up for Living with Johnny, but it does not appear to be there.

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1 hour ago, Cole Parker said:

The amazing thing to me is  that your list, R, goes all the way to Ch 40 till Johnny's name appears at all, other than his introduction.



I think that reflects the story itself, which is narrated by Mike and includes characters with relationships to Mike.  Only the first few entries from Chapter 1 refer to Johnny in the character descriptions.


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1 hour ago, Rutabaga said:

Ch. 2 -

It seems like Trevor must know something that the bad guys don't want to have pursued.  


Thank you Rutabaga. I was struggling with a reason for a sequence of events that have to take place in book three. You have just given me a way to explain them.

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Interestingly, the "phone hacking" (really, unauthorized access to recorded voicemails) has a notable real-life precedent centered on the now-defunct News of the World.  Details here.

I predict a serious dilemma, however -- if the "Sentinel" paper in the story is sued for defamation, it seems like Trevor would have to come out of seclusion to confirm that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated.  That would just provide new fodder for the sensation press.  

Meanwhile, is it possible that the clumsy detectives following Johnny and Mike near the end of the previous series were actually working for a red-top newspaper?


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We're all rooting for Trevor.  This exchange between Trevor and Johnny was important:

"But you wanted it."

"Yes, but how did you know?"

"Because I was the same. I wanted the attention, the praise, the love. I wanted what I was not getting. No, it's more than that; I needed what I was not getting, so I gave sex in exchange for it. It's the devil's deal. You give them what they want, the use of your body. They give you what you want: attention, something you take as being love, and physical pleasure."

"You enjoyed it?" Trevor asked.

"Of course, I did, sometimes. Didn't you?"

"Yes." That was accompanied by a deep sigh.

"Of course, you did. You're a young male just entering puberty. They were supplying sexual stimulation; you were bound to enjoy it. You probably even looked forward to it. That does not mean you did anything wrong. It just means that those men knew how to use you, and they were using you."

And then there's the almost Shakespearean twist that both Trevor and Arthur are convinced that the other one is going to reject them.  These are the kinds of characters we readers just want to slap!




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18 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

And then there's the almost Shakespearean twist that both Trevor and Arthur are convinced that the other one is going to reject them.  These are the kinds of characters we readers just want to slap!

That's harsh. Both Trevor and Arthur have felt rejection in one form or another before. Of course they are going to be wary they will be rejected again. They only see one side, we see both sides and want to scream at them.

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3 hours ago, Pedro said:

That's harsh.

I certainly did not mean any criticism -- I just thought the irony was considerable in that each of them has separately talked about what they plan to do when the other one turns them out, as each expects.  They need each other, and need the kind of emotional breakthrough that will allow them to believe in one another despite their past experiences.  In particular, they need to conquer the self-doubt and self-loathing that convinces them they are too worthless to warrant affection from anyone else.   We all just hope that nothing happens to wreck their growing relationship while waiting for this to occur.


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On 3/2/2022 at 2:21 PM, Rutabaga said:

Once it was the Henderson family; now it's the Elmchurch family.  At this point we readers can be excused for being skeptical about every apparently accidental death of family members.


Yes but with the Elmchurch family you are dealing with English Gentlemen. They will always clean the blade of the knife before they stab you in the back.

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22 hours ago, Nigel Gordon said:
On 3/2/2022 at 6:21 AM, Rutabaga said:

Once it was the Henderson family; now it's the Elmchurch family.  At this point we readers can be excused for being skeptical about every apparently accidental death of family members.

Yes but with the Elmchurch family you are dealing with English Gentlemen. They will always clean the blade of the knife before they stab you in the back.

You can't begin to imagine how reassuring it is to know that. 😁



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In the latest chapter, Johnny muses:

It is strange. I think of Jack and Flora as being my grandparents, but I never think of Dad's parents as my grandparents. Probably because I’d never met them. 

Indeed, we readers know very little about them either, including -- as far as I can determine -- their given names.  Chapter 3 of "Living with Johnny" discloses that Mike's father was an accountant, the only non-Jewish one in the area, and that they lived above his office next-door to the tailor shop of Bernard's father.  Then when Ben was born they moved to a nearby house in Hampstead, about a mile away.  Mike's mother was a doctor who worked part-time, which meant that Mike and Bernard were often babysat by Aunt Sarah (Bernard's mother).  

My memory of the first series is fuzzy as to any further details about Mike's and Ben's parents.  I'm not even sure if they are still alive at the time Johnny is musing about them.  I do recall comments that Mike's dad was an accountant for the Thompson enterprises -- at least those with a patina of legitimacy -- further explaining Miss Jenkins's interest in the various events.  But I am as curious as Johnny as to what has become of Mike's and Ben's parents.  

UPDATE:  I wasn't paying close enough attention in the first chapter:

I had moved into the bungalow during my divorce. My father had died a couple of months before Johnny's birth, a year after the death of my mother, who was considerably younger than my father. They had moved here when my father retired at sixty-five. Mam had just turned fifty. A few weeks after the move, she had been diagnosed with cancer and was dead within six months. I do not think Dad really got over her death. From then on, he just went downhill, and he was dead in a year at the age of sixty-seven.

The bungalow in question was where Mike was living at the outset of the story.  So the reality is that Johnny never met his paternal grandparents because they were gone before he was even born.  Which makes his remark in the newest chapter a bit weird, since surely he was aware of why he had never met his paternal grandparents.


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Mike and Johnny are worrying about storing the heirloom jewelry safely, but seemingly have left those formerly-well-concealed diaries lying around loose somewhere.  At a minimum they should immediately have scanned them and stored the files in multiple safe places.  The bad guys are still out there.  For that matter, what business did the police have in staking a constable at a "former crime scene"?  How is it that no one has found anything suspicious about that?


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