The Lad ( Jamie ) orphaned from an early age. Works under the wing of Joe Masters, boat builder, repairer, in the market town of Maldon, Essex. The river Blackwater is the centre of their working lives and provides a backdrop to the events that follow, which will have a lasting effect on all of their lives.
Patricia Hodge ( Pat ) to her fiends. Lives with her Mum and brother David. She is a free spirit, and very much a person of the waterfront. She can turn her hand to most jobs in the marine environment, and works freelance, attending to the many tasks that require casual labour that come her way. She has a soft-spot for the Lad, but is not sure that she will be able to land her catch. A competent young lady in many ways; she is finding this quest challenging and frustrating.
Bethany Holden ( Beth ) a successful young law partner in the City of London. With a failed marriage behind her from her student days, she has avoided becoming deeply involved emotionally until the Lad stirs something within her, and the sleeping tiger awakens. This is a beginning for him, unexpected, and all consuming in its intensity.
John Francis, late husband of Beth. Recently resigned his flying commission with the Royal Air Force. By chance becomes involved in a police enquiry, leading to the discovery of terrorist agents, plotting to corrupt the entire water supply of the United Kingdom. The plot is foiled, and those involved are arrested. The case is considered closed, but sinister events lead to a final showdown, where loyalties are tested to the full, and relationships reveal their true identity.