In June 1997 Hollywood screenwriter Gary Devore disappeared while driving home through the middle of the Mojave desert. Devore had connections to the Pentagon and CIA and was working on a screenplay that threatened to reveal devastating truths about the 1989 US invasion of Panama. His disappearance left no trace – of him, of his car, of his work. Just over a year later his car was found at the bottom of an aqueduct with what appeared to be Devore’s body inside, but his hands were missing. This possible murder mystery, complete with freakish details, caught the attention of British academic Matt Alford, who devoted several years to investigating Devore’s disappearance. The Writer With No Hands is the result of that investigation, though it almost certainly isn’t what you’re expecting.