The events of Of People and Things behind him, Paul begins to write again. Part journal and part imagination, he tries to wrestle new events into stories to make sense of it all.
Paul is supposed to be starting a new life in an inherited modern mansion. Used to being poor and alone, he struggles to come to terms with a fresh host of people who demand his attention. They seem friendly enough, but what do they want from him? If only Mr Samuels — the kindly, enigmatic private detective who had saved Paul before — were on hand to sort things out, but he is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Paul imagines what he might be up to as a mysterious woman, and a near fatal encounter, plunge Mr Samuels into what might be the most dangerous, and most personal, case of his career.