While Vigata is wracked by storms, Inspector Salvo Montalbano is called to attend the discovery of a dismembered body in a field of clay. Bearing all the marks of an execution style killing, it seems clear that this is, once again, the work of the notorious local mafia. But who is the victim? Why was the body divided into 30 pieces? And what is the significance of the Potter's Field? Working to decipher these clues, Montalbano must also confront the strange and difficult behaviour exhibited by his old colleague Mimi, and avoid the distraction of the enchanting Dolores Alfano - who seeks the inspector's help in locating her missing husband. But like the Potter's Field itself, Montalbano is on treacherous ground and only one thing is certain - nothing is quite as it seems . . .