Commissario Alec Blume, on health leave, has retreated from Rome to central Italy. At the Villa Romanelli, he enrols in a natural remedies course conducted by a young woman named Silvana. But far from recuperating, a feverish Blume becomes isolated and sluggish with sickness.
Increasingly ill at ease in the stifling environment, the dark history of the crumbling villa and its once-magnificent gardens draw him in. And when a Romanian girl who works for Silvana’s fiancé, Niki, asks for his help, Blume is dragged into the shadowy case of a missing girl and the horrors of the garden’s malignant beauty.