After losing his wife and two young sons in an airplane crash, professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. Then, watching television one night, he sees a clip from a lost film by the silent comedian Hector Mann—and soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to study the works of this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929.
When Zimmer’s research is published the following year, a letter turns up inviting him to meet Hector. Is the letter a hoax, or is Hector Mann still alive? Torn between doubt and belief, Zimmer hesitates—until a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever.
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