Montalbano convinces his girlfriend Livia on holiday, that August at the height of the Sicilian summer is far too hot for any murders to be committed. But when her friends' son goes missing, a chain of events is sparked which ruins the Chief Inspector's respite. As Montalbano navigates his way though the case, he must contend with the heat, the suspicious death of an Arab labourer and the lure of a beautiful girl . . .