John May is a council worker whose job is to find the next of kin of those who have died alone. Meticulous to the point of obsession, he goes beyond the call of duty to see a job through. Only when all leads have been checked and all doors shut will he organise the funeral of his forgotten “clients”, for whom he chooses the appropriate music and writes eulogies, which no one but him will hear. His life is neat, calm and ordered till his new case, the elderly alcoholic called Billy Stoke has been found dead. When May visits the flat to search for clues to his neighbour's life, he sees the mirror image of his own – except that Stoke's is full of rubbish bags and dirty dishes. As May starts to research Billy Stoke's life his boss brings devastating news: the department is being downsized, and John May is being made redundant. What will he do without his job, without his routine?