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Urbane Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano, whose exploits have sold more than four million copies in Europe, makes his long overdue U.S. debut in this spare and spry English translation of the first novel in the series. When two garbage collectors find the body of local politician Silvio Luparello locked in his BMW with his pants down, in "the Pasture," the Vig
ta town dump frequented by whores and drug dealers, the coroner rules that Luparello died of natural causes, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Montalbano refuses to oblige his superiors who want a hasty close to the case, and it will take a corrupt lawyer's murder to break it open. The author's view of Sicily is the all-too-common one of a poor and backward place that many would like to see separated from the rest of Italy. Camilleri's strength lies in his gallery of eccentric characters: Signora Luparello, the victim's admirably cool widow; Geg, a pimp and old classmate of Montalbano's; Giosue Contino, an 82-year-old schoolteacher who shoots at people because he thinks his 80-year-old wife is cheating on him; and Anna Ferrara, Montalbano's attractive deputy, "who every now and then, for whatever reason, would try to seduce him." Even the two garbage men have Ph.D.s. The maverick Montalbano doesn't hesitate to destroy clues or extract money from a crook to help a child, but his wrapping up the case by telling rather than showing, while acceptable to European audiences, may disappoint action-oriented American fans.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, making a belated first appearance in the U.S., has long been a staple of both Italian and German best-seller lists. It's easy to see why: Camilleri captures that special blend of lethargy, cynicism, and reluctant commitment that drives the best fictional Italian cops (e.g., Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen). Salvo Montalbano, police inspector in the small Sicilian town of Vigata, has a potentially explosive case on his plate: a local politician has been found dead in his car, apparently the victim of a heart attack. The position of the politician's pants (around his ankles) and the location of the car (parked in an abandoned field where prostitutes ply their trade) suggest that the victim may have died in flagrante delicto. Higher-ups want the embarrassing case closed quickly, but Montalbano smells a setup. Unlike many European cops dealing with the horrors of modernity, Montalbano is no melancholic brooder; rather, he puts a comic face on the noir world, sorting through multiple layers of corruption Sicilian style while still finding time to enjoy a good lunch. Keep the translations coming--and quickly. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An excellent mystery series, both for suspenseful plots and interesting characters, and especially for those who like Italian culture. Read morePublished 4 days ago by J Quinlan
There’s little of that celebrated Italian charm in The Shape of Water, the first in Andrea Camilleri’s widely-read series of crime novels featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Mal Warwick
Fun, witty and engaging. The Shape of Water takes you right into Sicily, as if you are watching first hand as Inspector Montalbano has to play all the little delicate games of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Smith
Liked the characters and story. Will be traveling to the town known as Vigata in the series. Wanted to get a feel for it which Mr. Camilleri succeeded in doing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eileen Fireman
Great read. This is the third Montalbano I have read and I will be reading many more.Published 2 months ago by Ian Cushnie
Depicts the Sicilian culture very, very accurately. Inspector is a little arrogant but maybe expected by a person with so much authority in the little Sicilian town.. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John M. Iacono