Ilaria Tuti’s debut thriller explores a remote community in Northern Italy—a place of secrets, eerie folktales, and primal instincts. In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders. Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in a male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains is a dark history that may endanger a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate. As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.