In the late 1970s and early 80s, assassinations in Sicily get the attention of Communist deputy, Pio La Torre, who appeals to General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa to become prefect in Palermo and take on the Mafia. Dalla Chiesa approaches the job with the same focus and methods he used in hunting down the Red Brigade. His sweetheart, the much-younger Setti Carraro (everyone calls her Emanuela), wants to be with him in Palermo, but he sends her away, knowing he is in danger. Then, a few months into office, he asks her to marry him, and he tries to be both husband and investigator. Meanwhile, the Mafia bankers are feeling the heat, and they start with La Torre.