Sometimes it only takes small things to derail a plan. Brunetti receives the visit of a city building employee about the "non existence" of their apartment. Venice's building code is a nightmare in the best of times creating opportunities for corrupted officials alike. But the sand castle can be swept away by one small employee with a conscience. Friends in High Places is about pride in all its disguises. The plot is not difficult to follow and in the usual Leon manners not everyone gets what's coming to them in the expected way.