Commissario Soneri returns home for a hard-earned autumn holiday, hoping to spend a few days mushroom picking on the slopes of Montelupo. This isolated village relies on the salame factory founded in the post-war years by Palmiro Rodolfi, and now run by his son, Paride.
On arrival, Soneri is greeted by anxious rumours about the factory's solvency and the younger Rodolfi's whereabouts. Not long afterwards, a decomposing body is found in the woods. In the shadow of Montelupo, carabinieri prepare to apprehend their chief suspect - an ageing woodsman who defended the same mountains from S.S. commandos during the war.