Padua, Italy. An unremarkable man, a husband and father, disappears without a trace. After a few months of searching, the police send his file to the cold cases department to be thrown in with the files of other missing persons. One woman knows the truth about his disappearance, but, being the daughter of a prominent and wealthy Swiss industrialist she fears coming forward with what she knows: that she was his lover and that there is more to his disappearance than another bored suburban husband running out on his. Stricken by guilt, she finally confides in a lawyer who advises her to turn to Marco Buratti, aka The Alligator, for help. Buratti agrees to assist the woman. Initially, the case of the woman's missing lover seems like a lost cause, but a clue puts the Alligator and his trusted associates, Max the Memory and Beniamino Rossini, on the trail of the unscrupulous and brilliant criminal, Giorgio Pellegrini, protagonist of The Goodbye Kiss and At the End of a Dull Day. The deadly game of chicken in which the good guys and the bad guys are often hard to tell apart is Carlotto's specialty. But good or bad, these men are survivors in a world where the once ironclad criminal codes of conduct are disappearing and new criminal syndicates do vicious battle with old.