Based on the 7th book in the series, whose English title is “Rounding the Mark“, Salvo turns up to station to find workers getting rid of graffiti. He tries to keep Caterella’s spirits up, but when he goes through the eerily empty station, he decides to call the commissioner. Mimi over hears the conversation and realises that Salvo plans to resign after recent exposes as to police corruption.
Salvo goes swimming and comes across a body floating face down in sea. He pulls it ashore, where he gets attacked by an old couple, the Bausans, who have been watching him and think he’s a murderer. The shoot a gun into the air then knock him unconscious with her walking stick, just as Fazio arrives. (we also get a rare glimpse of Salvo’s naked backside after his trunks fall down – glad to see Equal Opportunity nakedness on our TV screens!).
Pasquano believes the man had been dead before thrown in water about a week ago. Marks say he was tied up before hand and attacked by crabs after death. Looks like Salvo is still in mood to quit as he visits Commissioner’s office again, only to find he’s still away.
Salvo visits an immigrant camp, where they are being rounded up. A young boy, Khakis, who is very reminiscent of Francois, runs away, but Salvo returns him to his mother.
Salvo goes to visit Ciccio, a fisherman, who takes look at corpse and disputes how long he’s been in water and where he was dumped. The fisherman thinks the body had been kept somewhere secluded for a bit, then dumped in sea to give the impression that it’s come from far away
Salvo goes to hospital looking for refugee with the 3 kids he saw the day before, but whilst she made it to the ambulance she never made it to be treated. He sees the ambulance crew as he leaves, who swear they dropped her off, but didn’t take her in as they returned to the site. Over lunch with Niccolo, they expand theories, and the reporter suggests they’ve all been played where she fakes an injury in order to be taken to A&E, which are not monitored and vanishes in order to join her husband.
Niccolo then asks favour, a journalist friend called Sozio Melato wants to meet Salvo as he’s doing a piece on immigrants. Salvo talks to Livia and tries to get perspective on why the boy would run away from his mother.
Caterella thinks he’s identified the dead man, but Mimi’s not sure. Salvo calls Inspector Vattiato from another town as the dead man might be one Ernesto Errera , unfortunately Errera has been dead and buried a year.
Talking to Mimi, Salvo hears a young boy has been killed in a hit and run….it’s the immigrant boy. Leaving the morgue he gets stopped by a nurse who had worked A&E the day the immigrants came in, saw the woman and the boys be picked up by a car, and the boy tried to run away again,
Salvo talks to the farmer who reported the hit and run, sounds like the child was run over on purpose. Fazio has found out that Marzilla, the nurse, and his wife are heavily in debt, esp after their shop burnt down the previous year. Marzilla comes round to Salvos house and admits that he’s so in debt, the loan shark has him transport illegal children yo the hospital in exchange for a reduction in interest payments. Now the child is dead, Marzilla is scared what the loan shark is going to do.
Some anonomous post comes implying that the body buried in Erreras grave was so mangled, there is doubt as to who could be buried there. Ingrid comes round for dinner, recognises photo of Mini Lococo, one of her brief lovers. They used to meet at the old tuna factory, which had a couple of rooms converted. Lococo used to talk in Arabic and Italian using both satellite phones and radio. Ingrid dumped him because there was something she didn’t feel happy with…Lococo was extremely paranoid.
She stays the night and Salvo sleeps on sofa. Marzilla stops by to say multiple boats are due in in the next few days, but that he has a job that evening. Salvo gets Ingrid to come round that evening as he wants to use her driving skills.
Melato visits station, tells Salvo about illegal smuggling of children for begging, sex trade or for organ harvest. He has come because Baddar Gafsa has been seen in Vigata. A Tunisian, he is the leader of the organisation running the smuggling and is in Vigata because that’s where the processing centre is for the bigger stake immigrants. The centre used to be run by an Italian, who got too big for his boots so was killed. Salvo takes this to be Lococo.
They set up to raid the tuna factory, with Mimi and Fazio leading the two teams, and Salvo on his own. The boat comes in, the young boys are taken into the factory to be processed. Rather than wait for the others, Salvo decides to take on the smugglers himself, resulting in gun fire, Gafsa being fatally wounded and Salvo himself being shot
To recover from being shot, Fazio drives Salvo into the mountains to an isolated house that doesn’t have a phone, and is told to come back in a week, having told no one where Salvo is. The house is one where Salvos father went to get away from things. Montalbano Snr’s business partner, Pasterfilipi, lives nearby and has kept the house as it was before salvos father died.
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