The narrative takes place over a few days in which Rome comes to a halt with the arrival of a world G8 summit due to take place in the Quirinale Palace, the former pope’s palazzo that sits atop the Quirinal Hill. A minor Italian politician has been kidnapped, apparently in an attempt to extract information about the summit.
Costa and Falcone are summoned to the Quirinale for a meeting with the Italian president, Dario Sordi, and his security advisers. There they learn that a former terrorist band known as The Blue Demon, long thought dead, has seemingly revived and is threatening to bring chaos to the city for the summit.
Sordi, a wily friend of Costa’s late father, believes there is more to the story than meets the eye and wants him and his friends to look more closely at the background of these home-grown terrorists, led by a former professor of Etruscan studies, Andrea Petrakis.