A married couple die in a bizarre murder in an archaic Venetian glass foundry. Three exiled Roman cops are asked to investigate by the Venice authorities but are given to understand that their work should be pro forma. Of course, they don’t listen and find far more than was wanted.
The cops and their visiting girlfriends are interesting characters. Their stubborn insistence on digging for the truth has real consequences for their own lives, and the case scars most of them. Venice itself is also a character, a shabby strumpet living on its former glory, as are the bizarre Arcangeli family of glassblowers.