Where can you find truth in a world that is so thoroughly ruled by lies? That is the question tackled by the investigation of a French journalist who endeavours to shed light on the enigma of an unexplained death: that of the Argentinian writer Alejandro Bevilacqua, found lying on the pavement underneath his balcony in Madrid in the mid-1970s. The few accounts of those who knew him - which include those of his last lover, a former fellow prison inmate, a sworn enemy and even the author Alberto Manguel himself - are contradictory and unreliable. Poor devil with a troubled childhood, literary genius and irresistible seducer, ordinary man masquerading as hero, pure and simple impostor - these are but a few facets of a mysterious figure in this tribute to falsehood. Between the lines, the reader must discover the only worthwhile truth: the fascinating homage Alberto Manguel pays to literature and its shape-shifting creations, which give infinite expressions to the objects of our desires.