In the picturesque Tuscan hill town of Scandicci, the body of a girl is discovered. Scantily dressed, she is lying by the edge of the woods. The local police investigate the case - but after a week, they still haven't even identified her, let alone got to the bottom of how she died.
Frustrated by the lack of progress, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, head of Florence's elite Squadra Mobile, decides to step in. Because toxins were discovered in the girl's body, many assumed that she died of a self-inflicted drugs overdose. But Ferrara quickly realises that the truth is darker than that: he believes that the girl was murdered.
And when he delves deeper, there are many aspects to the case that convince Ferrara that the girl's death is part of a sinister conspiracy - a conspiracy that has its roots in the very foundations of Tuscan society...
Originally published in Italian as La Loggia Degli Innocenti.
Michele Giuttari is former head of the Florence Police Force (1995-2003), where he was responsible for re-opening the Monster of Florence case and jailing several key Mafia figures.