On a cold, grey November morning, sixteen-year-old Ernesto Moro is found hanged in the washroom of the San Martino cadet academy. Why would such a young person commit suicide, seemingly without reason? Or has there been a cover-up – in order to protect someone's reputation? The police investigation comes up against a wall of silence: the ranks have closed. Nobody – not the teachers, nor the well-drilled cadets, not even the boy's family – seems interested in finding out more precise details. But Brunetti will not let go the case of this young man, whose father is renowned for his political integrity. As a father himself, Brunetti will not rest until he has discovered what is behind the incident. Elites and their loyalties – Donna Leon plumbs the depths of the secret channels running between military and political power.