This detective novel is set in Peru in the 1950s.
Near an Air Force base in the northern desert, a young airman is found murdered. Lieutenant Silva and Officer Lituma investigate. Lacking a squad car, they have to cajole a local cabbie into taking them to the scene of the crime. Their superiors are indifferent, the commanding officer of the air base stands in their way, but Silva and Lituma are determined to uncover the truth.