We find here again a few of the Irish characters we met in "The Perilous Art of Forgetting". William Collins, Peter Boyle and Reginald McKenzie. Many things have changed in their lives since we left them at the end of the first instalment in this series. Julia Fitzpatrick, Peter's step mother and Reginald's best friend, died serenely at the age of eighty-five, taking her secrets–which William was the only one to know–away forever.
Peter and William decided to move to Tuscany, a region of Italy they both adored. They bought an old farmhouse in the hills surrounding Arezzo with a big plot of land and restored it with care and taste.
Reginald McKenzie, who had been a Catholic priest for most of his life, after a very painful and mournful process, decided to return to lay status and found himself in the needs to build up his whole life again and his friends invited him to join them.
At the beginning of this new adventure, Reginald's just arrived to Tuscany, in a very hot and sultry summer. He tries to find his new points of references and to start over again, supported by the affection of the few people he really feels close to him.
Very soon he meets new, interesting friends. Themba, an enigmatic Zulu professor of philosophy, who is a collaborator of the farm. Ellie, a middle aged English picture restorer, who has chosen to live in Tuscany as well and Giorgio, a local photographer, who lives in the small village of Capacciano and several others.
At the farmhouse everyone seems to be busy to organize a very exclusive and smart wedding party to celebrate the marriage of the incredibly beautiful, capricious and rich Fiammetta Innocenti, an important Italian politician's only daughter.
But things don't go always as expected. The small group of friends gets indirectly involved in a brutal murder and they must make all possible efforts to prove the innocence of Giorgio, who seems to be destined to be the ritual scapegoat.