Maybe a phrase, a line, a hint somewhere would reveal a reason, any reason, for the elderly couple's disappearance. They'd saved everything . . . there was even a copy of the 'certificate of living existence', that nadir of bureaucratic imbecility . . . What was the 'protocol', to use a word dear to government offices? Did one simply write on a sheet of paper something like: 'I, the undersigned, Salvo Montalbano, hereby declare myself to be in existence', sign it, and turn it in to the appointed clerk? A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building early one morning, and an elderly couple is reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari - two seemingly unrelated cases for Inspector Montalbano to solve amid the daily complications of life at Vigata police headquarters. But when Montalbano discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily's brutal 'New Mafia', which leads him down a path more evil and more far-reaching than any he has been down before. Praise for Andrea Camilleri: 'A joy to read' The Times 'This savagely funny police procedural proves that sardonic laughter is a sound that translates ever so smoothly into English' New York Times

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