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The Ill-starred Exile of John Smith


John Smith is what is known as a ‘placeholder name’, like the American term John Doe. It is the name bestowed on unidentified corpses, amnesiacs and hospital patients - which is why the odd young man staked out to die in the remains of a 4,000-year-old Neolithic Circle on the edge of the Lancashire Fells ends up with it.

His violent allergic reaction to iron and steel causes problems for his rescuers however, and when he refuses to co-operate with the police, Detective Chief Inspector Stone washes his hands of him.

So ‘John Smith’ simply disappears - literally.

And that’s when strange things start to happen around the city of Preston.