When Commissario Brunetti is summoned to the hospital bedside of a senior paediatrician whose skull has been brutally fractured, he is confronted with more questions than answers.
Three men have burst into the doctor's apartment in the middle of the night, attacked him and took his 18-month-old son - but why?
As he investigates, Brunetti finds infertility, desperation, and babies for sale.
Meanwhile, Inspector Vianello uncovers a scam between pharmacists and doctors in the city. And certain information about one's neighbours can lead to all kinds of corruption and all sorts of pain... Donna Leon's new novel is as subtle and gripping as ever, set in a beautifully realised Venice, seething with small-town malice.