In the gorgeous grounds of Rome's Villa Borghese park the glitterati of the movie world are gathered for a world premiere. A legendary Italian movie director has come out of retirement to create a blockbuster based on Dante's Inferno. But, as Nic Costa and his colleagues attempt to guard the precious collection of historic artifacts attached to the event, the premiere is disrupted by tragedy and a horrific murder.
Is a disgruntled admirer of Dante taking his revenge on the cast of the movie? Or are more mundane motives, the dubious financing of the film through criminal connections, to blame? Before Costa and crew have the chance to find out they are removed from the inquiry and find themselves sidelined by the Carabinieri.
But when the movie premiere shifts to California and the iconic surroundings of the Marina in San Francisco, Nic Costa's inspector, Leo Falcone, manages to bring them along to work on the investigation from the sidelines. And as life begins to resemble art, Costa and his friends come to realise that the inspiration behind these crimes may be more recent than the Carabinieri suspect.