CharacterScSophie Clark

Sophie is the minority owner of a Chinese joint Venture. She lives among premier league footballers and business successes in Wynyard Village, Billingham, Teesside, England. Young, beautiful and ambitious, she hires the protagonist of The Chemical Reaction, Dr Jaq Silver, and commissions a report on the Krixo rare earth metal recycling factory in China.

Jaq and Sophie first meet in The Raby Hunt, a Teesside restaurant with 2 Michelin stars.

Extract from The Chemical Reaction

 Jaq … allowed a tiny glimmer of sympathy to slip through her instinctive distrust. Poor unhappy Sophie. It must be boring being quite so beautiful. Perhaps she really was a business whizz. How tiring it must be when people only saw the superficial charms and ignored the brains underneath; how infuriating when they assumed it was her father who had built the business rather than this tiny, fierce young woman. OK, she would cut Sophie a little slack. Innocent until proven guilty. Capable until proven otherwise.

Emperor Qianlong treasure – Twin fish jade washing bowl


Pale greenish-white jade with subtle white flecks, 10 in. (25.4 cm.) diameter Inscribed and sealed in 1786 by Emperor Qianlong who reigned from 1735 to 1796


Metal – Scandium – Atomic number 21 and Atomic mass 44.956. Cost $270,000/kg

The first of the rare earth metals, the silvery metal Scandium is often overlooked and ignored. One of the elements that Mendeleev predicted when he first devised the periodic table, naming the gap eka-Boron, Scandium was discovered by Swedish chemist Lars Fredrik Nilson in 1879. Named after Scandinavia, the continent where it was first found, it is a very light metal, used in special aerospace alloys, fuel cells and, as Scandium Oxide, in high intensity stadium lights.

Back to The Chemical Reaction

Continue to next hint – Yttrium

The Chemical Reaction by Fiona Erskine is published by the PointBlank imprint of Oneworld and is available here.