"Fossum again demonstrates her skills as a writer..."
A writer wakes one night to find a strange man in her bedroom. He is a character she has invented, but not yet used, and so desperate is he to have his story told that he has resorted to breaking into her house.
She creates him for Alvar Eide, a quiet, middle-aged man whose life is carefully designed to avoid surprise. Alvar is a lonely almost miserly man, working in a local art gallery, the wages from which he continually squirrels away for 'a rainy day, until the day the painting of The Bridge appears for sale. It is a painting he wants, he even knows exactly where he will hang it, but to buy it will cost all of his carefully accrued savings, and the decision torments him. As he struggles to decide, his life is turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of a young drug addict into the gallery where he works. Alvar's life is changed forever and his inventor realises that she cannot control the character she has created.