An Italian park ranger becomes a target of an organized crime family, or maybe of demonic fairies roaming the forest.
After witnessing a Mafia murder and going on the run (Cry Wolf, 2015), Sebastiano Cangio has found peace, and even a girlfriend, in his new life as a ranger in Umbria’s Sibillines Mountains National Park. Little does he know that after a cooling-off period, Mafia chief Don Michele, who’s currently transporting drugs in jars of truffles, plans to return to the area and has not forgotten about the “nosy park ranger” who thwarted him. Cangio finds senior ranger Marzio Diamante, with his stolid manner and tales of hobgoblins in the forest, quite a character. When Marzio is found savagely killed, Cangio wonders whether his fanciful stories have come true or, more likely, his former nemesis Don Michele has returned and murdered the senior ranger by mistake, thinking it’s him. There is clear evidence that Marzio was secretly investigating something criminal. A sense of responsibility prompts Cangio to retrace his late colleague’s final steps. He stumbles near the lair of the villains when he questions truffle hunters Manlio and Teo Pastore, who unhelpfully champion the myth of evil forest elves. Also in the mix are a histrionic medium and a squad of meddling cops anxious to impede Cangio’s probe.
The second in this new series by the prolific Gregorio deftly walks a fine line, simmering with cheeky humor but maintaining the tension of the plot.