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 only a tattoo of a sphinx moth to identify her. The tattoo links her to three other girls, all victims of the underworld sex trade, who are all missing . . .