All the Dead Voices by Declan Hughes

Page 33:

“The door to my apartment opened onto a hallway that led directly to the small kitchen; the bathroom lay to the left; to the right were the two great rooms with high ceilings that I lived and worked in. My office was to the front; it didn’t have a glass door with my name on it, or a rolltop desk, and the whiskey was Irish, and in plain view, not hidden in a filing cabinet, but I had done without an office before, and it had somehow helped to make everyone’s problems my problems at a time when I had enough of my own to be going on with; I hoped an office would serve as a kind of clearinghouse for me, impersonal walls within which the dark secrets and thwarted passions of the cases I worked might disperse, or at least be safely caged. Hope springs infernal. There were three big sash windows and a sofa and two armchairs, in case an entire family wanted to hire me, which had happened a few times, with successful but never happy results. There was a pale oak desk and a dark-stained captain’s chair that I sat in, the windows behind me; across the desk there was a Lloyd Loom leather chair with a cane back which women liked to sit in; there was one sitting in it now.”

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