JOE FRIDAY - about 30, has poise, lithe strength and a manner of quiet authority. Beneath his hardboiled exterior, are qualities of sentiment and emotional involvement that only rarely show through.
FRANK SMITH - a few years older than Joe, built on a different pattern, and with a high-pitched speech, to make a good foil for Joe. Has the same outward lack of emotions as he performs his job.
BRAD RONEY - late 20's, brawny type, virile and athletic looking. Inarticulate and not well educated. Bitter brooding quality just below the surface that is always threatening to explode.
NORA HAMLIN - early 40's, still quite handsome though slightly faded. Has the patient, stoic quality of a woman who has experienced much unhappiness.
GINNY HAMLIN - about 21, great deal of charm, capable and self-reliant girl. Fiery and impetuous, not the type to consider consequences before acting.
MRS GAYLOR - 73, slight, shrunken figure. Has retained most of her faculties, although we get the impression that she views recent events through something of a haze.
WALTER MARKOV - late 40's, appearance is unprepossessing, his speech is slow and heavy with a Slavic intonation. A man with deep emotions, which he finds difficult to mask.
DOLORES SHANNON - about 30, curvaceous blonde of flashy appearance. Gravitates naturally toward men, and her manner is cheap and tawdry.
RAY PINKER - late 20's, slight and bespectacled young man with a studious appearance.
TESS BRENTWOOD - early 30's, small, intense woman with a dynamic manner and eccentric dress.