“This section contains a brief synopsis of the characters in the book series, and so it will contain some `spoilers`. I have tried to keep them to a minimum, but inevitably some do appear. I suggest that if you haven’t read the books yet then you should ignore this page as it could spoil your enjoyment. It is meant as an aide memoire, to be dipped into only when you need to be reminded of particular characters.”
Characters from Sons of Asterion
The Croft family:
are an ancient line of hybrids, the offspring of human mothers and the same individual demon father – the Djin. Each Croft can live for centuries, but they are mortal. Most recent attempts at extending the Croft line have led to the deaths of both mother and newborn child.
The Crofts themselves are all impotent. In order to procreate a Croft must merge with the Minotaur Asterion, and mutate into the Djin, somewhere deep inside an ancient labyrinth. The monster’s lair is entered using a cylindrical golden key, a Fulcrum. For some past eight centuries each of these Sons of Asterion has been inextricably tied to the name Richard Croft, or else their magic fails. At the start of the book series there are only five Richard Crofts still alive; they use familiar names, variants of Richard, to differentiate among themselves and avoid confusion in their mutual conversations: Richard, Dick, Rick, Ricardo and Diego, although they are all Richards.
is the central character (author) of the book series (yours truly), who refuses to use a variant of the name Richard. He is nearly two hundred years old. Richard is a billionaire financier, and in the first book, for his own peculiar reasons that become clear as the book progresses, he is enrolled as a mature student of statistics at the London School of Economics (LSE), however, drops out at the end of his first year.
He has somehow retained the traumatic memory of the death of his own mother during childbirth. Consequently he is determined that no other woman will die at the hands of the Croft family. As a consequence he insists that there must be no more sons of Asterion. Richard is fixated on Charlotte Wales, whom he believes is the next target of his family’s drive for procreation. He takes on the role of her protector.
is Richard’s `cousin`, and shares the same rejection of his family’s drive to procreate. Alienated from all of his family, except Richard, he has dropped out from the magic scene, and is now a well-known gambler based in Las Vegas.
is Richard’s `father`. He has raised Richard as his `son` over the child’s formative years, taking him around the world to various countries including Australia and the USA. He now lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his long-term companion Abigail. He is over three hundred years old, and is adamant that the Croft line must continue.
is Richard’s `uncle`, the oldest surviving Croft, and now lives on a `farm` in Delhi, India. He has a notorious sense of humour, and is the most violent of the family, having killed many of his enemies over the centuries. In particular he murdered Samuel Jones, the Magus of the Jones coven back in 1867, which started the vendetta between the Crofts and the Jones. Dick is the most vocal of the Sons of Asterion that their line must be perpetuated. He has lived all over the world, and like all the Croft family, he has to disappear every thirty years or so, in order that there can be no comment about his longevity.
is another `cousin`, and is the youngest of the Crofts. He keeps a very low profile, and it is not at first clear where he stands on continuing the family line. No one seems to know how to contact him, and he only appears late in the book.
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales:
was the daughter and only child of George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV, and his wife Princess Caroline of Brunswick. Charlotte died in childbirth in 1817 at the tender age of twenty-one. The whole country went into deep mourning, at a scale similar to what happened after the death of Princess Diana. The disastrous birth was attended by Sir Richard Croft (that’s right, the same name … a coincidence or synchronicity?), who was universally blamed for the tragedy. Even Napoleon demanded that he be imprisoned for his crime.
Charlotte ‘Charley’ Wales:
is the heroine of Sons of Asterion. She is a 21 year old student of statistics at the LSE, and is top of her class. Unknown to her, she is the target of a number of occult groups because of the synchronicities that link her to her namesake Princess Charlotte of Wales. She is a no-nonsense scientist and thinks Richard Croft is talking nonsense whenever he mentions Magic, and the threats to her safety.
is Charlotte’s mother, who has been made aware of the occult threat to her daughter by a series of anonymous letters that started arriving on the day Charlotte was born. In order to protect her daughter, Caroline sets out to infiltrate the various witches’ covens across the South of England to uncover and disable the threat.
is Charlotte’s father, who doesn’t believe in the occult, and dismisses the threats as hysteria and neurosis, causing huge stress in his marriage. He becomes alienated from his wife Caroline over what he believes is her obsession, and eventually she walks out on him.
is Charlotte’s cousin, a gay ne’er do well, who is mixed up with a coven in Sussex, and is being blackmailed into tricking Charlotte into attending a satanic mass near Brighton.
Charlotte ‘Lotte’ Wales:
the pregnant friend of Charlotte. They met on Facebook because they share the same name. Lotte is also targeted by the coven in Brighton because of the powerful magic they infer into the synchronicity with Princess Charlotte.
is Lotte’s boyfriend and father of her child, who is unwittingly dragged into the mess.
The Prime Coven:
Prime … a Magus:
who controls a `congregation` in his mansion in the Sussex Downs. He has a pathological hatred of the Crofts, and resents the slights that he believes they have heaped on his own family over the past few centuries.
Prime has been expanding his power base, and this has put him at odds with the various other covens up and down the country, which are terrified of his growing power. After a lifetime of research Prime believes that he has finally uncovered an occult secret that will enable him to overthrow the Crofts. It will all culminate in a Dark Mass that revolves around the sacrifice of the pregnant Charlotte `Lotte` Wales.
is an Adept in Prime’s coven, who is in awe of Prime, and extremely grateful for both the rapid promotion he has received, and the enlightenment that has come his way since committing to Prime’s coven.
is another Adept in Prime’s coven, and Holmes’s partner. Holmes and Watson (the code names are Prime’s little joke) are Prime’s enforcers, trusted to undertake all his dirty work. Both are up to their neck in the murders that are described in Sons of Asterion.
is member of Prime’s coven, and owner of Wicca shop in the Brighton Lanes. She is Prime’s chief organiser, the person who ensures that everything is ready for the `ceremonies`.
Griffin … a Magus:
is the mysterious figure who appears in Prime’s important ceremonies, and who takes on the role of second in command, over Holmes and the other Adepts.
was an early Magus and an ancestor of Prime, who was murdered by one of the Crofts back in 1867.
Other Main Characters:
DCI John Ross:
The Detective Chief Inspector investigating the Brighton murders, the event that initiates the plot of Sons of Asterion. He plays a minor part in that first story, however, on his retirement from the Sussex police, he emerges with significant roles in subsequent books.
is PA to Richard Croft, and is party to many of his secrets. In her mid-fifties, she was hired by Croft when she was expecting to be passed over in favour of `attractive young things`. She is totally loyal to her boss.
is Richard Croft’s Lawyer, who also ends up defending both Charlotte Wales and Freddy Clarence against unfounded allegations by the Sussex Police. Together with Susan Davies, he controls access to Croft.
Professor of Statistics at the London School of Economics, teacher and personal tutor to Charlotte Wales. He dislikes Richard Croft, and the feeling is mutual.
wife of Robert Jones, and great granddaughter of Aleister Crowley, the infamous dark magician and “The Wickedest Man in the World”.
a sacrifice at one of Prime’s `Masses in Celebration of True Will`, and consequently one of the two victims of the Brighton Murders.
a prostitute, who is also a police informant. She was also a sacrifice at that Mass, and the second victim of the Brighton Murders.
a.k.a. Jack, a lowly member of Prime’s coven, chosen by him for mundane criminal tasks.
a.k.a. Jill, also a lowly member of Prime’s coven, and Jack’s partner in crime.
The Sussex Police
ACC George Griffith:
An Assistant Chief Constable in the Sussex Constabulary. Acutely sensitive of the Sussex forces reputation, he oversees all potentially damaging cases, specifically `the Brighton Murders`. He is a champion of new technology, and has introduced many innovations to the Sussex police.
Detective Inspector James Marsh:
Intense and manipulative officer. Joined the police soon after leaving school. Resents graduates being promoted over `real policemen`. A highly effective officer who feels he has not been promoted to a level befitting his abilities and record.
DI Miles Clawson:
Fast track graduate with a Master’s degree, promoted beyond his abilities. Always looks for short cuts in his investigations. Competing with DI Marsh for the vacant Acting Detective Chief Inspector position in the Brighton police station.
Detective Sergeant (later DI) Bill Powell:
No nonsense effective officer. He focuses on detail, emphasizing good old-fashioned police work.
Numerous Mythological and Historical Figures:
including Daedalus, King Minos, King George IV, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, and many others not described here.
Minor Fictional/Historical Characters
Sir Richard Croft; obstetrician in charge of the delivery of Princess Charlotte’s baby, and universally blamed for the death of both mother and child.
Jock Saunders, CEO of Gearborne Motors, and his wife Julie Saunders. Close friends of Richard Croft. Julie is a `Crofter`, the select band of wives whom Richard accompanies to artistic events that their husbands would rather miss.
DCI Vanessa Williams, about to go on maternity leave in Brighton, creating the Acting DCI position there.
Abigail ‘Croft’; companion of Riccardo.
Anne: senior guide at Brighton Pavilion.
Micky Meredith; freelance paparazzi from Eastbourne who follows DI Clawson around.
James Furness and Peter Brown; gay couple whose wedding reception is held at the Moshi Moshi restaurant in Brighton.
Frank Blunt; witness to the assault on Freddy.
The mother and father of Freddy Clarence; the mother is George Wales’s sister.
Unnamed members of Brighton Pavilion Board and staff.
Two unnamed thugs who assault Freddy.
Various hotel staff and policemen.
Characters from The Novitiate
Characters who have already appeared in Sons of Asterion will not be described here.
People on the Classical Tour of Sicily
`Enzo` was the local guide, and expert on the history and archaeology of Sicily.
Owner/driver of the tour minibus, who drives Ross to Bagheria and the Villa Palagonia.
TV journalist, hoping to get Ross involved in her True Crimes program on the Brighton Murders. Follows him to Sicily, hoping to `strike up` a relationship. Plays a major role in HellFire, the third book in the Richard Croft Occult Series.
Masters student of Ancient History. Attracted to Juliet, but without any success. A go between.
A superintendent from the Metropolitan Police, who has met Ross previously, and is one of the tourists on the trip. Her husband Geoffrey is also travelling with her.
Then the other major characters
Professor of History at the University of Palermo. Grand Master of the Cristalli, the group attempting to cross over into the netherworld from Villa Palagonia.
Glamorous daughter of the professor. Representative of the Sicilian Tourist Industry at international conferences.
Wife of the professor, mother of Anitia, who disappeared through the Palagonia Temenos nearly thirty years previously.
Senior member of the Cristalli. Widower. Runs a security company. Wants to be the Grand Master.
Daughter of Augusto. Works in the ticket office of Villa Palagonia.
The old woman who cleans the Villa Palagonia. Always hovering around. Never misses anything.
Now deceased. Was the Grand Master of the Cristalli. Godfather to Anitia.
Notorious gangster from Castellamare del Golfo, on the coast to the west of Palermo. Named after the notorious New York mobster of the nineteen-twenties. Left the Cristalli when he lost out the Giovanni Ventimiglia in the election to become Grand Master. Consequently he became involved in a vendetta against Richard Croft. He has two sons Alessandro and Pietro.
Brother and right hand man of Giuseppi. He has three sons Carmine, Lorenzo and Luciano.
Commissario in the Palermo police. A decent and honourable officer.
Vice-Questore Aggiunto in the Palermo police, and Fava’s superior officer. Corrupt and universally disliked.
Head of the Palermo Scene of Crime laboratory. Friend of Fava, and who like him, also thoroughly dislikes and mistrusts Giummarra.
Matteo Provenzano and Silvio Carollo:
The two gangsters sent by Masseria to watch Augusto Campese in his attempts to enter the netherworld through the Temenos in Villa Palagonia..
Franco d’Angelo and Mario Bonfiglio:
The two gangsters sent to London by Masseria to gather information on Richard Croft in furtherance of his vendetta.
Housekeeper of the Villa Trapani, where the Ventimiglias are staying.