Rick Montoya has moved from New Mexico to Rome, embracing the life of a translator. He's settling in to la dolce vita when a school friend who is now senior in the Italian Art Squad recruits Rick for an unofficial undercover role. Armed with a list of galleries, suspects, and an expense account, Rick would arrive in Tuscany posing as a buyer for a Santa Fe gallery and flush out burial urn traffickers.
But before sunset on Rick's first day in Volterra, a gallery employee dies in a brutal fall from a high cliff.
The local Commissario and his team consider Rick an amateur, and worse, a foreigner. And now they suspect him in the dead man's murder. While the Volterra squad pursues its leads, Rick continues to interview his list: a museum director, a top gallery owner, a low-profile import/export businessman and his enterprising color-coordinated assistant, and a sensuous heiress with a private art specialty and clientele.
When Rick's girlfriend Erica arrives from Rome to visit him, she rekindles a friendship with an alluring, maybe dangerous, acquaintance. Has Rick's role made him the target of both cops and criminals?