Archie Sheridan is the main character first introduced in the beginning of the novel while he is struggling to sleep in his apartment.
Former reporter and interviewer of The Herald, this red headed woman, who we meet in a restaurant a few chapters later, is Susan Ward.
The blonde woman is Gretchen Lowell, also known as Gretchen Stevens, or the "Beauty Killer". When she is first introduced, she is confined in a psych ward. The man to the right is Ryan Motley, whose real name is Colin Beaton, former foster brother to Gretchen with an obsession for her.
.This blonde girl is known by three names. Pearl, Margaux Clinton, and Lily. She is the 17 year old daughter of Gretchen Lowell, but she gave her away to foster homes so she never knew her mother. She eventually transferred permanently to live with Susan and her mother, Bliss.
Ever since Susan was fired, she refuses to stop interviewing and poking her nose into the business of Archie Sheridan's investigation. At this point, they are each other's romantic interests, but neither know of it yet.
A relationship that is central to the novel, is the relationship Archie had with the past Gretchen. She was a lot more beautiful before being in the psych ward took its toll on her. Archie is still not over her, although she is a serial killer, and it is conflicting him to get with Susan as a consequence.