A new park ranger with a secret past seeks peace in the
wilderness but instead finds an organized crime blood feud.
In early 2011, Sebastiano Cangio, having witnessed a brutal Mafioso murder at Italy's Soverato Beach, flees to London, abandoning his doctoral studies. Longing to return, he's lured back by the seemingly idyllic job of forest ranger in Umbria. Even as his plan is forming, crime heats up in the region as 'Ndrangheta (the Calabrian version of the Mafia) family hit man Corrado Formisano puts several bullets into disloyal drug dealer Andrea Bonnani. Despite the gathering storm, Cangio settles nicely into his new gig and even finds romance with lovely local Loredana. A more jaundiced approach to law enforcement is provided by Gen. Arturo Corsini, the special ops commander known (perhaps ironically) as "The Legend." As recently re-elected mayor Maurizio Truini prepares to double-cross his business partners by approving some unpopular building permits, his pampered wife, Cesira, who battles ennui by shoplifting, nearly discovers the rotting corpse in the boot of her husband's car. The more observant Cangio and the 'Ndrangheta notice the increased appearance of wolves in the area. After steadying himself with copious vino, farmer Roberto Casini calls police to report a body on his property. In his avarice, the mayor may have bitten off more than he can chew, and citizens begin disappearing. The turf gets even bloodier when the hit men turn on each other. Cangio finds himself caught in the middle, with little certainty about whom to trust.
This series kickoff by the author of the Hanno Stiffeniis historical mysteries (Unholy Awakening, 2010, etc.) features some deliciously dry humor and a lively, tough-minded plot.