About this time last year, a French friend of ours suddenly died. Another friend, called Ros, was talking to her on the telephone when Elizabeth excused herself, emitted what sounded like a stomach rumble-and the line went silent. Ros rang the police, then remembered that we lived nearby in north London, and called to tell us what had happened. My wife, who happened to have a key, set off at once, arrived at the same time as the police, and let them in. Elizabeth lay slumped in a chair, clearly dead; the computer still on, a cigarette warm in the…
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