In the novel Evil Under the Sun, The Reverend Stephen Lane stayed at the Jolly Roger Hotel in Devon. His home until a year previous was St Helen's in the village of Whiteridge in Surrey, where he also was the vicar. He retired and moved into a nursing home.
Reverend Lane is described as being a "tall vigorous clergyman of fifty-odd", and his face is tanned. His eyes are "intensely blue". According to Poirot, he is in a "condition of great nervous tension".
Reverend Lane smokes a pipe, and describes his pipe as "an old friend and companion".
At the beginning of the novel, Poirot mentions that there is "evil everywhere under the sun". Reverend Lane says that he was glad to hear Poirot say that. He talks about how no one believes in evil, and that they say evil is done by those who know no better, who are undeveloped and should be pitied instead of blamed. However, he believes that evil exists, and that it walks the earth.
When Reverend Lane sees Arlena Marshall, he says that such women are a menace. He later tells Poirot that she is "evil through and through", but Poirot says that it is difficult to be sure. Reverend Lane says that he can feel the presence of evil in the air all around him.
On the day of the murder, Reverend Lane had breakfast at eight in the morning, and then went for a walk, to St Petrock-in-the-Combe.
It is later revealed that Reverend Lane had moved into a nursing home for mental patients, and had been there for over a year, before the events of the novel. His trouble had been an "obsession about the devil", especially in the guise of a "scarlet woman", the "whore of Babylon".