he novel, set in Barcelona in the period following the Spanish Civil War, concerns a young boy, Daniel Sempere. Just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by JuliÃ¡n Carax. That morning he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange manâ€”calling himself LaÃn Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devilâ€”who has been seeking out Carax's books for decades, buying and burning them all. The novel is actually a story within a story. The boy, Daniel Sempere, in his quest to discover Julian's other works, becomes involved in tracing the entire history of Carax. His friend Fermin Romero de Torres, who was imprisoned and tortured in Montjuic Castle for having been involved in an espionage against the Anarchists during the warâ€”himself being a government intelligence agentâ€”helps Daniel in a number of ways, but their probing into the murky past of a number of people who have been either long dead or long forgotten unleashes the dark forces of the murderous Inspector Fumero.