Iris Murdoch's first novel, Under the Net, has wonderful characters, including writers, eccentrics and a glamorous actress; but the character that imbues the novel as no other is London itself. London appears in many ways, here philosophically:
There are some parts of London which are necessary and others which are contingent.
But for Murdoch, in her novel, all of London is part of the story she weaves around her writer-hero, Jake Donaghue. It is an exciting beginning to what became a brilliant novelistic career.