In the novel The Moving Finger, Paul was the ex boyfriend of Joanna Burton in London, who broke her heart, or so she claims. Her brother, Jerry, believes that she will soon forget about Paul, and he wants her to, as he never liked Paul.
Joanna says that Paul really was a bit of a genius. However, Jerry is of the opinion that Paul is one of the "tame whining artistic young men" that Joanna likes to date.
Later in the novel, Joanna receives a letter from Paul. She reads it, but disregards it because she is thinking about Dr Griffith, whom she has just witnessed saving a woman in labour, as well as her baby.