TOM METZLER, a Harvard graduate lawyer, is on his first trip to England in 1988 to deliver an affidavit to Counsel's Chambers in respect of a fraud trial involving an American citizen. During his visits he finds the time to visit the Natural History Museum in Kensington whereupon he sees a very beautiful young lady evidently catching his eye. She smiles at him and then disappears. Later that evening he is sitting at the bar in his hotel when the young lady mysteriously appears. He questions her and she enigmatically addresses him by his full name and informs him that he will not be travelling home to New York on the Pan Am 747 the next day and that she has instead reserved seats for him on the TWA flight in the morning. She provides him with the documents together with a new passport in the name of Thomas Heaton. Naturally he is astonished at this development and goes to bed bewildered by the event; nevertheless, the following morning, almost unknowingly, he dutifully checks out of the hotel, catches a waiting cab, and joins the TWA flight for America. When he arrives back at the office in New York no one seems to know him; just then one of the secretaries announces that the flight he was due to travel on, the Pan Am 747, has crashed over Lockerbie. Everyone, including many on the ground, was killed. Larry realises then that somehow, by some mysterious means, his life has been saved. It is not until the next morning that he is introduced, yet again, to the enigmatic lady from London and she informs him that she is his Guardian Angel and she has saved his life because she felt it would have been a tragedy for someone so young to forfeit his life. And so the story develops. Tom falls deeply in love with Imogene, his angel, but she is unable to have a physical affair with him because, although she now has to occupy a human form, imposed upon her as a punishment by the Celestial Tribunal, nevertheless, in essence, she still has to protect her divinity. She arranges employment for them both at The New York Times, where a suspicious reporter on the crime desk questions Tom about his background in the newspaper business. Eventually, as Scott Hardy, the inquisitive reporter, discovers the truth behind Tom's employment, he threatens to sensationalise Tom and Imogene through the media, by disclosing that she is a guardian angel and therefore can provide proof of an afterlife. The story then takes a different turn with a Pinkerton private investigator in New York, one of Imogene's former charges, agreeing to investigate Scott Hardy to see if he has any skeletons in the cupboard. As time goes by, Imogene succumbs to Tom's advances; they make love, but in the meantime the private investigator discovers some violent characteristics hidden in Hardy's past whose revelation leads to a confrontation in the offices of the New York Times. The story's tragic ending emerges from Imogene's pregnancy, which creates a time paradox, that is, something that occurs when the protagonist creates an incident that could not occur because he simply does not exist and which is completely forbidden by the Celestial Tribunal.
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