Richard Macduff is the main character in Douglas Adamss “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.” This may come as a surprise to readers who assumed that the story would centre around the title character, rather than his client, but, this is Douglas Adams and he does like to keep you guessing.
Richard is the Ex-Student from Saint Ced’s College Cambridge where he studied English. Well, studied is the wrong word to use, since that implies he left with at least a basic knowledge of the subject. In fact, due to a combination of playing in a rock band (who, by the way, got better financial advice than the Beatles, i.e. “Don’t bother”), and trying to teach his computer to word process his essays, he didn’t ever actually submit any work. He did however gain a good knowledge of computer programming from having virtually written a word processor in BASIC, and it was this that got him his nicely paid job with Wayforward Technologies.
At Cambridge Richard’s tutor was the Professor Regis of Chronology. This was a mysterious title that fascinated Richard to such an extent that he never did ask what it actually meant, but asks at some point in the book. Richard is also the very good acquaintance of Dirk Gently, but hasn’t seen him in years. Apart from those three, Richard is involved with his boss (Gordon Way)’s daughter, Susan, who he continually forgets about, but then apologises quite well. He hates Michael Wenton-Weaks, who was as pretentious as a snail pretending to be a hawk.
In the book Richard forgets his girlfriend, breaks into her house, is reunited with Dirk, nearly arrested for murder and finds out what a Professor Regis of Chronology actually is.