He began swimming in slow, broad strokes. The sea smelled harsh, stinging his nostrils like champagne, and he nearly got drunk on it . . . In a fraction of a second, Montalbano realized he'd struck a human foot. Somebody else was floating right beside him, and he hadn't noticed."Excuse me," he said hastily, flipping back onto his belly and looking over at the other.The person beside him didn't answer, because he wasn't doing the dead man's float. He was actually dead. And, to judge from the way he looked, he'd been so for quite a while.
Increasingly disillusioned with his government and the world in general, Inspector Montalbano is considering retirement. He is starting to feel his age, and even his favourite restaurant has closed. But when he bumps into a dead body during a bracing swim, his detective instincts are aroused once more. Particularly when the most likely identity of the victim is a man already long buried . . .