Berkley, Feb 2004, 23.25, 304 pp.
In the village of Stresa, near Lake Maggiore, Italy a well planned kidnapping is carried out. Achille de Grazia, the sixteen-year-old heir to wealthy and aristocratic Vincenzo, the owner of numerous business enterprises and his own island, is being ransomed for the sum of five million Euros. While the family is raising the money, the bones of a murdered man are found at a de Grazia construction site.
Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, his wife Julie and a de Grazia cousin Phil are in Stresa to host a “Travel of the Cheap Tour.” The carbineer in the form of Colonel Caravale asks Gideon to help him identify the skeleton and find out the cause of death. With the information Gideon gives him, Caravale identifies the body of Vincenzo's father who was thought to be lost at sea. After Achille is returned, somebody tries to steal the bones and kill Gideon, making him believe that the two crimes are linked in some manner. Further investigation proves he is right but it does not get him any closer to identifying the perpetrator or the mastermind who is orchestrating events.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner