Alligator - former blues singer and ex convict, now a private detective - finds himself pulled into a dark and unsettling case that uncovers an Italy known to very few. When Helena Giraldi is abducted, her husband approaches Alligator and his friends for help. Helena and Mariano lead a secret double life involving Italy's clandestine S&M scene. But Mariano seems more worried about losing his job and reputation than about seeing his wife again. Rossini, the old-style gangster who watches Alligator's back, doesn't want to get involved: he has his own reputation to consider. Only Max is determined to find the woman and bring her to safety. As Alligator and Max begin to investigate, they uncover a secretive and dangerous world in which brutality, duplicity and passion go hand in hand. Behind Helena's abduction is a shadowy figure known as The Master of Knots - who proves to be as powerful as he is psychotic. As more members of the underground scene start to disappear, Alligator and Max find themselves in a desperate race against time to reveal the true identity of The Master of Knots. Their search will lead them into a world where truth is an elusive concept, where no one is who they seem to be - and where the line between pleasure and pain simply doesn't exist.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.