“Sitting at a table by the large window that looked down Sukhumvit Road was a man in a pinstripe suit and a regimental tie. He was of indeterminate age but judging by the liver spots on his head and hands he was three score years and some. There was an expression on his face, when he saw me approaching, that I recognised as being a smile, but other people might have described as a mildly disapproving stare. It was the way my housemaster had looked at me, and the Colonel of my regiment, and the Chief Superintendent of my first police station.”

Brigadier Wee, head of the Singapore Security & Intelligence Division, is a spymaster in the old tradition. The only man whom Jedburgh still addresses willingly as ‘Sir’. When the Brigadier needs an ‘ang mo’ white man to do a job, Brigadier Wee turns to Jedburgh.

“He was wearing jeans, cowboy boots and a polo shirt that sat very tightly over his bodybuilder’s chest and rounded biceps.

It was easy to believe that he was one of Brigadier Wee’s best men and I assumed that meant he was smart and sharp as well as fighting fit. As it turned out, I wasn’t mistaken.”

Larry Lim, right hand man to Brigadier Wee, is also Bill Jedburgh’s best friend in the secret world.

Despite his protests, Larry is always willing to be roped in to a tough assignment or a dodgy bar-crawl.

First appearance in Reliable in Jakarta.

“Beneath his urbane charm lay a frighteningly violent man. His sergeants in the police force had always referred to him as Din Gau – meaning Crazy Dog. They had found him a most effective interrogator because his unpredictability cast fear into the hardest Triad Red Pole.”

Julian McAlistair, Jedburgh’s old colleague.

Left the RHKP to marry his rich and doting Thai wife Marjorie and lives in luxury in Rayong while she makes more money than either of them can spend. Now a best-selling thriller writer, he travels the globe promoting his novels and indulging his love of women, nightclubs and fine dining. One of the few people who know Bill Jedburgh is the Reliable Man.

First appearance in Reliable in Bangkok.

“Harry Bolt looked like a scruffy bricklayer’s assistant from Neasden whose flight to the Costa del Sol had been diverted. Covering his bald head was a baseball cap, reversed in Nikki Lauda style. His pale, chubby cheeks and neck were covered in a fair stubble. The shirt he wore looked like it had been stolen from a sleeping tramp and his shorts were as faded as the British Empire. But the dynamism of the self-made man, shone from his bright blue eyes.”

Self-made multi-millionaire Harry Bolt, whose adopted persona disguises a private education and an elastic approach to legality, is the person who set Jedburgh off on his career as the Reliable Man. Now his occasional employer and longtime friend, Bolt is never far from his beautiful quartet of mistresses, the Four Seasons, and his next guaranteed money-spinner.

First appearance in Reliable in Bangkok.

“You know that we are not supposed to admit to people we’re spies, don’t you?” asked Dominic Tweddle rhetorically. “That’s the point of the ‘Secret’ bit in the Intelligence Service’s name.”

Schoolfriend of Bill Jedburgh, now working for SIS under cover of the private bank, Ashenden Delacroix.

With a First Class degree from Balliol College, Oxford, Tweddle’s owlish demeanour hides a sharp mind.

First appearance in Reliable in New York.

“Foxcroft was an imposing figure: tall, lean, with closely cropped dark hair and steely blue eyes. He wore brown brogues, loose khaki pants and a pale blue shirt, open at the collar with the sleeves perfectly rolled up. He was an unusual policeman, the second son of a baronet, his family had lived in the same home for 400 years. Instead of becoming a stockbroker in the City, he’d chosen the rather pedestrian occupation of a colonial copper. Eventually his natural graces, excellent people skills and obvious affinity for the job made colleagues and superiors accept and admire him. He was a natural leader who knew instinctively how to work with his Chinese officers. Through empathy and application he had become one of the most successful detectives in the Hong Kong Police Force.”

Despite his posh background he is a hard-working, dedicated copper who cares about the job and upholding the laws of Hong Kong. As he rises up the ranks to Assistant Commissioner he has to navigate the increasingly political nature of the job.  

First appearance in Reliable in Danang