CRIME NOVELRome in 1960. Il Libanese, Il Fredo and the Dandy are three young criminals. They join forces with another gang of adolescents to kidnap and kill a rich industrialist. The ransom money they nevertheless receive is invested in a heroin deal. Their investment swells into an unscrupulous organisation and, having removed all possible competition, they soon gain total control over the drug business. Enforcing their own brutal laws on Rome, they form an allegiance with the Mafia and by so doing, soon profit from the protection that that organisations friendship with the government affords.
Meanwhile, the authorities are knocking themselves out trying to combat terrorism. The only person who seems to be aware of the danger this new generation of gangsters represents is Capitano Scialoja. In order to put a stop to their game, he starts a dangerous affair with a prostitute named Patrizia, who is also the Dandys mistress. But their relationship soon gains its own momentum.
In the meantime, the organisation has reached the height of its power. Il Libanese is beginning to show dangerous signs of megalomania; Il Freddo thinks it might be better for him and his girlfriend Roberta if he were to leave the business altogether. The Dandy, however, has begun to work for himself.
The old gang comes together once more in order to avenge Il Libaneses death, who cockily refused to pay back his gambling debts and was stabbed to death. But their revival is short-lived: a traitor in their midst sees to it that the Dandy, Il Freddo and the others are arrested. Il Freddo manages to escape and the Dandy is acquitted thanks to his influential friends. The gang may be finished, but a campaign of vengeance and a never-ending cycle of murder ensues.