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The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, Book 1) Paperback – May 31, 2005
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins with the discovery by 2 garbagemen of a local politician, dead in a car, with his pants around his ankles. Detective work in Sicily is quite different than what you would expect in the US. But Inspector Montalbano performs his job largely independent of supervision and is fairly free to follow up in whatever way he pleases.
The pace is relaxed, and the book does not have your typical action-adventure style. Everything is revealed in a very matter of fact style in a storytelling manner, rather than one action scene to the next. Not to worry though, there are plenty of questions to be answered here, and Montalbano gets to them in his own good time. He manages to fit in a love interest, and some fantastic gourmet food as he goes about his days. His gastronomic interests are amusing in themselves.
I don't want to go on about the story itself here, it might spoil the surprises for the readers. Suffice to say this was a very enjoyable read, with plenty of plot twists, that will make you want to read the rest of the series. Highly recommended to mystery lovers.
Salvo Montalbano, the police inspector for the small Sicilian town of Vigata, is deeply respected by his community for his honesty and fairness. That is doubly important since there is corruption in all levels of the Italian government. He is very likable. He doesn't cheat on his girlfriend, he does good deeds, and he's also pretty intelligent, sometimes even discussing literature with other officers in the know. Not exactly the cold-blooded killer we see in America. What a breath of freshness this is!
Hold on, dont think that this is some nice cub scout book to be read to children. As the novel opens, two garbagemen find the body of Silvio Lupanello, chief political figure in Vigata. They find him dead in a car in the Pasture, a local name for an area known for its drug and prostitution activity. One of them finds a valuable necklace on the ground and conceals it from the police.
Salvo is called in to investigate the scene. I hesitate to say crime scene because it is not known whether any crime has been comitted. The rumors begin to spread that it was foul play. The problem for the inspector is that he wants to know the truth, wherever it leads him. Even it ends up sullying the plans of the political elite.
This was a good book. It was so refreshing to get a new perspective on a detective novel.Read more ›
Montalbano is a great character, complex background, cool attitude, good occasional wise-crack. As others have said, the Sicilian way of life is well-presented, as are various Italian and Italy references that may be lost on someone who isn't familiar with either (glossary in the back). But for the most part, you can get by not knowing exactly all of it.
There's no way you can't know what "Shape of Water" means if you have read the book...it's defined in a conversation between two central characters. To disclose it here would ruin the storyline.
Having read many European authors, I can see why this author is all the rage in Europe. Book Magazine rated this one of the best mysteries of 2002, and I tend to agree. My only complaints are that it was too short, and too fast of a read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read all 18 of Inspector Montalbano's books with Stephen Sarterelli's effortless translations. I started at # 1 The Shape of Water and was hooked. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Nick Spill
The Shape of Water’ is not heavy, dark or sad, but instead the tone is one of not letting mean temperaments or nefarious activities (even if only of-the-heart variety) which most... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wistful Angst
Main character is entirely enjoyable. This isn't your typical light detective story. I'm Already looking forward to the next one.Published 1 month ago by Dana
Though the Sicilian politics were challenging to decipher, this was a good mystery with likable characters. I look forward to more Inspector Montalbano books.Published 1 month ago by Tamara Robb
First book I read in the Inspector Montalbano series. Thoroughly enjoyed the character and setting. Looking forward to additional titles in the series.Published 1 month ago by Pat
Was quite short but I have just bought the second one so it must have been very good!Published 3 months ago by Vixoliver