Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His long-distance relationship with Livia is on the rocks, he feels himself getting even older and he's growing tired of the violence in his job - Then the dead body of a young woman is found with half her face missing - A tattoo of a sphinx moth on her left shoulder links her with three other girls bearing the same mark, all recent Russian immigrants to Italy. Victims of an underworld sex trade, these girls have been rescued by a Catholic charity organization. But they are all missing. As his investigation progresses, it seems that not everyone wants Montalbano to discover what really lies behind the organisation's charitable facade.