Lou Ford—the novel’s main character; a sociopathic killer and town deputy.
Bob Maples—the sheriff of Central City.
Jeff Plummer—a deputy sheriff.
Joyce Lakeland—a prostitute new to Central City, and Lou’s lover.
Joseph Rothman—president of the Building Trades Council.
Amy Stanton—Lou’s long-time girlfriend.
Chester Conway—a well-established local tycoon.
Elmer Conway—Chester’s flabby and foolish young son.
Howard Hendricks—the county attorney.
Max Pappas—the owner of the local diner.
Johnnie Pappas—the son of the diner owner.
Hank Butterby—the office deputy in Central City.
Helene—the housekeeper at Lou’s house when he was a child.
Dr. Smith—the quack doctor who wants to buy Lou’s house and his father’s medical supplies.
Billy Boy Walker—Lou’s flamboyant lawyer.
Dr. Zweilman—the doctor who sedates Lou after Amy’s death.