McClelland & Stewart
"It was the smell that Mrs. Powell noticed first. Slightly sweet. Slightly unpleasant...It shocked her badly to find a dead man in the corner, his head slumped on his knees."
When Billy Blake, a homeless alcoholic, is found dead of starvation in Amanda Powell's private garage in the ritzy docklands area of London, the press arrives in force. But Billy's story is never told because Amanda refuses to comment, and interest in the unknown wino quickly flags.
Then, six months after Blake's death, the journalist Michael Deacon discovers that Amanda has changed her tune. Now she is suddenly eager to talk about Billy for Deacon's feature article on poverty and the homeless. More than eager - she seems obsessed with finding out the real identity of her dead visitor. Deacon's curiosity is piqued. Why is Amanda taking Blake's death so personally? Why did he choose her garage to die in? And why is she so anxious to discover his true identity?
The more he learns about Blake, the more Deacon can sense echoes of the homeless man's life in his own. Echoes so compelling that Deacon can't let go of the story until he's learned who Billy Blake really was - and why Amanda is almost certainly lying about her own interest in the dead man.
From the Hardcover edition.
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