Scratched places Algy Temple, Carter University's legal counsel, in confrontation with the 'Ndrangheta, the notorious Italian crime organization, and the mob guys of Federal Hill, Providence. Threatened by the mob's banker while investigating the suspicious death of a Carter University professor, Temple comes face-to-face with the reality of a 50-year vendetta still smoldering in the boot of Italy. Ethnic and political tensions boil over when the University's faculty determines to abolish Columbus Day as a holiday, giving Providence's political class the opportunity to twist the nose of the University.
Who murdered the duplicitous professor? Can the scion of Providence's first family handle the wise guys who threaten him and his beautiful fiance, psychologist Nadie Winokur? How does the demi-world of shylocking and pool hustling complicate Temple's investigation? What clues are in the works of Dante and Dore?
From southern Italy to a Rhode Island landfill, from Roman landmarks and Manhattan law offices to a strip club, from an international pool tournament to a back-room high-stakes, life-and-death pool match, Scratched cracks with excitement.
Experience Providence's deficit of civic virtue as it meets the crimped ethos of the world of pool, old-world vengeance coupled with modern extortion and financial crime. As always, puzzles that face this amateur detective are unique, challenging and chilling.