In the piazza, a man lies dead. No one will say if they witnessed his killing. This presents a challenge to the investigating officer, a man who earnestly believes in the values of a democratic and modern society. Indeed, his enquiries are soon blocked off by wall of silence and vested interests; he must work against the very community to save it and expose the truth.The narrative moves on two levels: that of the investigator, who reveals a chain of savage crimes; and that of the bystanders and watchers, of those complicit with secret power, whose gossipy, furtive conversations have only one end: to stop the truth coming out. This novel about the mafia is also a mesmerizing demonstration of how that organization sustains itself. It is both a beautifully, tautly written story and a brave act of denunciation.