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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.