Three stories from the past arrive on Montalbano’s desk: the discovery of a diary written in the summer of 1943 by a boy who was then fifteen years old, Carlo Colussi. The boy, steeped in fascist ideology, confesses in the very same diary that he had committed a terrible act, a massacre, the day after September 8, 1943. The same day of the diary's discovery a very brisk ninety-year-old man arrives in Montalbano’s office, John Zuck. Born in Veneto, during the war he was captured by the Americans. As both his parents had died in a car accident, he decided to stay in the US and start a new life there. Back in Vigata he discovered his name mistakenly listed on the tombstone of the soldiers fallen in war. He asks Montalbano if he can help him get his name erased from the monument. Montalbano finds Zuck a very nice man and so decides to help him. The day after the meeting with Zuck another ninety year old man, Angelino Todaro, one of Vigata’s richest entrepreneurs, is found dead. Someone killed him. Among the lights of the feast for the local patron St. Calorio, Montalbano will understand that the three stories are deeply connected one to the other. But in a completely surprising and tragic way.

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