After a hectic morning involving two rather irritating cases of mistaken identity, Inspector Montalbano finally arrives in his office ready find out what’s troubling Vigàta this week. What he discovers is unnerving.
A woman on her way home from work has been held up at gunpoint, chloroformed and kidnapped, but then released just hours later – unharmed and with all her possessions – into the open countryside.
Later that day, Montalbano hears from Enzo, the owner of his favourite restaurant, that his niece has recently been the victim of the exact same crime.
Before long, a third instance of this baffling overnight kidnapping has been reported.
As far as Montalbano can tell, there is no link between the attacker and the victims. So what exactly is this mystery assailant gaining from these fleeting kidnappings? And what can he do to stop them? Montalbano must use all his logic and intuition if he is to answer these pressing questions before the kidnapper finds his next victim . . .