The Investigator is despatched to a provincial town to investigate a disturbing spate of suicides amongst the employees of The Firm. But from the moment he steps off the train, he finds that everything is against him, from the hostile weather to the town's bewildering inhabitants. Cold, hungry and humiliated, always one step behind, he finds himself in a recurring nightmare that waking cannot break. And yet his resolve never falters: he remains determined to find the only man he can hold to account - The Firm's legendary but elusive founder.
Philippe Claudel is a novelist, film director and university lecturer. He is the author of Grey Souls, Brodeck's Report and Monsieur Linh and His Child and was appointed to l'academie Goncourt in 2012. Daniel Hahn translates from the French and Portuguese. His translation of Jose Eduardo Agualusa's The Book of Chameleons received the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2006.