Roy Dillon—the novel’s main character, a con man who is murdered late in the book.
Lilly Dillon—a con woman and Roy’s mother, who gave birth to him at 14.
Mr. Simms—the desk clerk at the hotel where Roy lives.
Moira Langtry—a con woman, and Roy’s somewhat older lover.
Carol Roberg—a nurse hired to care for Roy; she is briefly his lover.
Bobo Justus—Lilly’s brutal con-man boss.
Cole Langley— Moira’s mentor and former lover; he is also known as “The Farmer” and other aliases.
Charles Grable—the manager of Moira’s apartment; she sleeps with him to pay rent.
Mr. Carter—a homely but honest man working at a jewelry shop.
Percival/Perk Kaggs—Roy’s new boss at his sales job; he tries to convince Roy to become a supervisor.
Bert—a bartender who helps Roy.
Mr. Chadwick—the Treasury agent investigating Lilly’s (but actually Moira’s) death.
Mintz—the man who taught Roy how to grift.