Felix in the Underworld
Viking, 1997. First edition, first printing. This copy has had the front endpaper removed. Otherwise fine in a near fine d/w.
Felix Morsom has made a decent living as an author. Though his novels no longer hit the bestseller lists, he has been described as the Chekhov of Coldsands-on-Sea, and once was even shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Were it not for the delicious Brenda Bodkin, his publicist, and their endlessly unconsummated passion, his life would be very dull indeed. One day, Felix receives a tape in the mail which reveals the sad tale of Gavin, a man whose life was destroyed by PROD, the Parental Rights and Obligations Department. Shortly thereafter, Felix again hears Gavin, now on a radio phone-in, and a few days later meets him at a book-signing. Gavin introduces the author to Miriam, who assures Felix that he is the father of her child, Ian. Before Felix knows it, he is in receipt of a huge bill for Ian's maintenance and, as if that weren't shocking enough, he soon finds himself the chief suspect in a murder case. To discover the identity of the murderer, our hero has no choice but to enter the underworld and live among the down-and-outs of London. There among the rubbish and the smell of poverty he finds friendship and unexpected grace.