Why was the corpse of Khalil Ahmad Jaber found in a mound of rubbish? Why did he disappear weeks before his horrific death? And who was he? A journalist begins to piece the truth together by speaking with his widow, a local engineer, a nightwatchman, the garbage man who discovered him, the doctor who performed the autopsy, and a young militiaman. Their stories underline the horrors of Lebanon's bloody civil war and its ravaging effects on the psyches of the survivors. With empathy and candour, Elias Khoury reveals the havoc the war wreaked on Beirut and its inhabitants, as well as their dogged resilience.