De Giovanni’s complex, lyrical seventh whodunit set in Fascist Italy (after Viper) finds Commissario Luigi Alfredo Ricciardi, a public safety officer in Naples who has been cursed with the ability to see images of the recently dead, even more miserable than usual after a romantic failure. Ricciardi gets some distraction from his personal woes after Tullio Iovine del Castello, a prominent gynecologist, takes a fatal fall from a top floor window of the general hospital of the royal university. Since the trajectory of the fall rules out an accident, the commissario and his loyal sidekick, Brigadier Raffaele Maione, look into the possibility of murder. De Giovanni adds psychological depth to the suspects, as shown in a section giving the perspective of a man who lost his wife during childbirth due to Castello’s neglect. A searing look at the tortured soul of the lead makes this entry especially memorable.