The first time Robbie lays eyes on Detective Sergeant James Hathaway at the airport, the thing he notices most - beside the ridiculous ‘Lewis’ sign - is the suit. The perfectly pressed, perfectly tailored, perfectly colour-coordinated suit. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much more inside the suit than a snobbish, smart-arsed, public-school-over-educated young man.
Then Sergeant Hathaway drives him to the cemetery without asking any too-personal questions and patiently waits until he is done saying hello to Val, even though he is clearly worried about getting him to his boss on time.
Then Hathaway asks for Robbie to be his new governor.
And Robbie starts to wonder if there is more underneath that suit than he’d first imagined.
After a few months of working with James Hathaway, Robbie is convinced that there is much more underneath the suits than meets the eye, but getting so much as a glimpse of what exactly this ‘more’ is proves to be an almost impossible endeavour.
Oh, there’s no question that his Sergeant is smart; not just well-educated smart, but blessed with a real intelligence and a thirst for learning. And yes, there’s that rather dry sense of humor too, which Robbie starts to enjoy more and more as time goes by. And, of course, there’s his seminary history and his ‘bit of rowing’ and his medieval madrigal guitar music.
But all that adds up to very little in the end, when it comes to the question of who James Hathaway really is when he takes off the Detective Sergeant suit in the privacy of his own home.
And sometimes, in the privacy of his own, lonely, silent flat, Robbie’s fingertips itch from the urge to peel that suit off Hathaway and take a good long look at what lies beneath.