In deep retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year-old man, vaguely remembered by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with other people. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African grey parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out ? a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts, perhaps? Or something more sinister?
Is the solution to this last case ? the real explanation of the mysterious boy and his parrot ? beyond even the reach of the once-famed sleuth?
Subtle revelations lead the reader to a wrenching resolution. This brilliant homage is the work of a master storyteller at the height of his powers.