In the northeast Italy of the 80s and 90s, many are those who fall for Toso's boyish looks and fail to see in him the brilliant mastermind of one of Italy's most notorious gangs. While deftly eluding police inspector Bruno Ricci and his team, and playing off the Venetian and Sicilian mafias against each other, he portrays himself as the benevolent ruler of the criminal world. He prides himself in amassing wealth and power without loss of blood – a noble principle he is soon forced to give up. Ricci succeeds in putting Toso behind bars in a maximum security prison, but after pulling off a daredevil escape, he regains control of his empire. However, with his armed robberies, kidnappings, drug dealing and gun running turning increasingly violent, he is no longer able to keep the murderous violence of his enemies away from his own family.