Richard Griffen is the villain of the novel, and he always acts solely in his own interest with no regard for others. Richard does not take his promises seriously and simply uses false agreement to get whatever he wants. Richard leads Norval Chase to believe that he will help the Chase business empire, but once he has access to Iris and Avilion, Richard still allows the factories to be shut down. Later, Richard deceives and manipulates Laura into having sex with him even though it seems unlikely he ever actually had information which could be used against Alex. Richard wants to have whatever he wants without accepting any consequences. He is physically and emotionally abusive toward Iris but takes great care to conceal this behavior and ensure that his marriage appears happy to the outside world. Later, the threat of being exposed for sexually abusing Laura drives Richard to suicide. As opposed to experiencing actual guilt or remorse, he is so preoccupied with maintaining power and control that he cannot bear the idea of his reputation being tarnished.