The inspector gazed at it, spellbound. A pyramid of mud. The perfect representation, at once concrete and symbolic, of everything that, little by little, was becoming clearer in his head . . . It's been raining for days in Vigàta, and the persistent downpours have led to violent floods overtaking Inspector Montalbano's beloved hometown, sweeping across the land and leaving only a sea of mud behind. It is on one of these gloomy days that a man - a Mr Giugiù Nicotra - is found dead, his body discovered in a large sewage tunnel with a bullet in his back.
The investigation is slow and slippery to start with, but when the inspector realizes that every clue he uncovers is leading to the same place - the world of public spending and, with it, the Mafia - the case picks up pace.
And there's one question that keeps playing on Montalbano's mind: in his strange and untimely death, was Giugiù Nicotra trying to tell him something?
'Among the most exquisitely crafted pieces of crime writing available today . . . simply superb' Sunday Times