Oslo is sweltering in the summer heat when a young woman is murdered in her flat. One finger has been cut off and a tiny red diamond in the shape of a pentagrama fivepointed staris found under her eyelid. Detective Harry Hole is assigned the case with Tom Waaler, a colleague he neither likes nor trusts. He believes Tom is behind a gang of arms smugglersand the murder of his partner. But Harry, an offtherails alcoholic, is barely holding on to his job and has little choice but to play nice.