Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way into a wealthy Italian family he has long left aside the paperweight and the pillow to become a respected member of Veronese business life.
But it's not enough. Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, he comes up with a plan to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing.
All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel, to Brutus and Caesar.
But as Morris meet stiff resistance from the Neapolitan director of Verona's Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel around him.
His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her ageing confessor, and worst of all it's getting harder and harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around him, and the skeletons rattling in every cupboard.
The shame of it is that Morris Arthur Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again.