Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown. She survived thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her unable to learn or mature. The lush claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn?t remember a thing. Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness?the girl?s grandmother?asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti?s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law?s best friend, he agrees. Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. -- Publisher's website.