Even on leave from the FBI, Ana can’t kick old habits: when she witnesses a drive-by shooting at an Italian restaurant in London, she helps the injured and gives testimony to the police. Still, it comes as a shock when the Bureau contacts her—not because they want her to investigate the shooting, but because they want her to investigate the half-sister she never knew she had, Cecilia, who lives in Siena, Italy, and is married to Nicoli Nicosa, a wealthy coffee mogul with transnational mafia connections.
Settling into their intimidating home under false pretenses is the least of the tensions Ana encounters. The entire city of Siena is gearing up for its legendary horse race, Il Palio—the dazzling annual culmination of ancient rivalries between the city’s many wards. And when her nephew is stabbed and her sister goes missing, Ana understands there’s more at stake than a horse race here. For Ana herself, it will mean an almost impossible choice between duty and family.
"In a stunningly assured debut, Smith has produced a crime thriller distinguished by an unflagging pace, authoritative use of detail and an appealing heroine. In vigorous, literate prose, Smith delivers characters of depth dimension who inhabit the wildly diverse worlds of Southern California, each rendered with a cinematic eye." - Publishers Weekly, Starred and Boxed Review