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In the novel The Clocks, Inspector Richard "Dick" Hardcastle is the investigating officer who investigated the murders which took place in Crowdean. Hardcastle is a personal friend of counter-espionage agent Colin Lamb. It was Colin who called the police when Sheila Webb had discovered a dead body at No. 19 Wilbraham Crescent. She had run out of the house and bumped into Colin. By coincidence, Colin was on the spot because he was following up a lead on a spy case he was investigating. Hardcastle knows a little about Colin's case and surmises that the two threads of investigation might intertwine. As such he invites Colin to join him in interviewing witnesses. However, he wisely and perceptively notes that Colin appears to be falling for Shiela and keeps certain parts of the investigation to himself, those involving Sheila as a potential suspect.

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