"Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His relationship with Livia is once again on the rocks, and, acutely aware of his age, he is beginning to grow weary of the endless violence he encounters. Then a young woman is found dead, her face half shot off, and there is no hint of her identity except a tattoo of a sphinx moth. The tattoo links her to three similarly marked girls, all victims of the underworld sex trade, who have been rescued from the Mafia night-club circuit by a prominent Catholic charity. The problem is that Montalbano's inquiries elicit an outcry from the Church--and the three other girls are all missing"--Publisher's description.… (more)
Chief Insp. Salvo Montalbano finds himself in the midst of a serious crisis with his significant other, Livia. He is uncertain what he can and should do to repair the rift that has developed between them. Meanwhile, the inspector must tackle a difficult case—the gunshot murder of an attractive young woman whose nude body was left in a dump. As Montalbano and his team first attempt to identify the victim based on a butterfly tattoo on her left shoulder, they learn of a possible link to an influential Catholic charity. Soon they start to feel political pressure to steer the inquiry in a different direction.