Michael is thirty-two years old, and is quite attractive, although he shows signs of strain. Miss Marple thought he would have been very attractive once, with a gaiety and charm aout him, which he had since lost. He has "a weak mouth and attractively shaped eyes that could look you straight in the face, and probably had always been extremely useful for telling lies that you really wanted to believe."ery attractive once, with a gaiety and charm about him
Michael's father had described him as "a bad lot", who was dishonest and would always be in trouble, and no one could make him go straight. However, he is extremely attractive, and girls often fell for him. He has a sense of humour, and is generous and kind in his own way,, such as standing by his friends and helping them when they are in trouble.
According to Professor Wanstead, Michael was "a criminal type", who had joined gangs, eaten up people, stolen, embezzled, taken part in swindles, and initiated certain frauds. He was taken to court on charges of assault and rape of a young girl, and was imprisoned for it, with some leniency shown because of his youth. However, later a second charge was brought against him, that of killing Verity Hunt.
The case against Michael seemed fair, as he had been seen with Verity on several occasions before she disappeared, his car had been seen in the neighbourhood, and he had been recognised. However, the Governor of the institution to which Michael had been committed felt that Michael was not the type of a killer, and asked Professor Wanstead for his opinion.
Professor Wanstead was also of the opinion that Michael was not a killer, and communicated with Mr Jason Rafiel about it. Mr Rafiel wanted to get justice for Michael, and to get him released from confinement, if it was true that he had not killed Verity.
It is later revealed that Michael and Verity had gone to Archdeacon Brabazon, wanting to be married. Michael had told Verity that he had always been in trouble with the police, and in every other way, but when he married her, he was going to turn over a new leaf. Archdeacon Brabazon warned Verity that Michael would not change, even if he meant to. However, he agreed to marry them, because he saw that they truly loved each other. A date and time was arranged, but Michael and Verity did not come, and did not send word to the Archdeacon.
By the end of the novel, it is revealed that Michael was not the one who killed Verity, and Professor Wanstead tells him that a release will be put through quite soon, and he will be a free man. Michael thanks Miss Marple for the trouble she went through to find the truth, and she tells him that he should thank his father, who was determined that he should have justice.
Miss Marple also gives Michael a photograph of Verity, but he gives it back. He tells her that that life is gone, and so is Verity, and so anything he does now has to be new. Miss Marple wishes him good luck in the life he is about to begin.