In the fourth book of the Aurelio Zen series, Zen has returned to his birthplace, Venice. His old American girlfriend Ellen has asked him to look into the disappearance of a wealthy American named Durridge some months ago; nothing came of the case and somehow the investigation was politically squelched. But Zen cannot investigate in an official capacity, so he finds a harmless excuse of an affair -- repeated complaints of "hauntings" lodged by a batty old countess who's something of a family friend.
But when a fisherman sees a "ghost" of a body in a white suit on the deserted Isle of the Dead, then turns up drowned, and the head of the Venice police's drug squad is discovered smothered in a cesspit, Zen realizes there's a lot more going on here than anyone thought or might want to have come to light. Worse, his recent girlfriend Tania moves into his apartment in Rome with Zen's mother and complains by phone about his absence, while Zen finds himself falling in love with childhood friend Cristiana Morosini -- who is separated from her husband, a slick businessman running for mayor of Venice. Or is she?
This report prepared by David Loftus