As Daniel grows up, he falls in love with the sister of his best friend, very much as Julian had before. He also comes to own an invaluable pen supposedly owned by Victor Hugo, that Julian had at one time owned.
The book is populated with characters both likeable and unlikeable: Inspector Fumero, whose days in the secret police from the days of the Spanish Civil War still haunt him; a homeless man who soon becomes Daniel's best friend; a blind woman who was Daniel's first love; and a woman who might be the answer to the questions that the book raises. Who is the burnt-faced man who keeps hounding Daniel? What secrets does the house on Tibidabo Avenue contain? What does Fumero have to do with all this? The mystery is a haunting one, one that stays with the reader ling after one has finished it.