Mr. Verloc, an agent provocateur assigned to spy on anarchists in London; he poses as a shopkeeper. He is indolent and unkempt. Under pressure from his superiors at a foreign embassy, he plans to bomb Greenwich Observatory, a deed he believes sufficiently irrational and anarchistically shocking enough to stir up the London police in a campaign against the anarchists. His feebleminded brother-in-law, whom he enlists to carry the explosive, stumbles in Greenwich Park and is himself blown to bits. Because he uses her half-witted brother as his dupe, Winnie Verloc murders her husband.
Winnie Verloc, a motherly woman who married Verloc mainly to provide security for Stevie, the half-witted brother whom she loves protectively. When she learns that her husband was instrumental in having her brother blown up, she murders him with a knife and attempts to escape to the Continent with Comrade Ossipon. Under great stress after Ossipon deserts her, she commits suicide by jumping from the steamer on the way to Calais.
Chief Inspector Heat
Chief Inspector Heat, an investigator of the Special Crimes Department of the London police. A methodical man, he wishes to follow conventional and routine procedures in trying to solve the mystery of the bombing, the motive for which he can in no way understand. He arrests Michaelis, the most harmless of the anarchist propagandists, whom he knows to be but slightly involved but against whom he can make a case. Because of the insistence of the new...
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