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The Potter's Field (Inspector Montalbano ) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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About the Author
Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and poet. He lives in France.
Top Customer Reviews
A bag containing a dismembered body is found in a field. The owner sells the clay in his field to potters, so you could call it a potter's field. There's a biblical allusion here, but I'll leave it to you to figure it out. Better yet, read the book!
The delicious complexity of the plot creeps up on you, so I won't say anything about it. I was only calmly interested for a while but finally got inextricably caught up.
In this book we watch Inspector Montalbano shed crocodile tears and real tears. We see him at odds with his own detectives. We watch his appetite go from poor to ravenous and back, more than once. He's subjected to the allure of a spectacularly gorgeous young woman and the mature charms of an old lover. He examines his conscience and is startled by what he finds.
In other words, this book, like every Montalbano mystery, is a feast of surging Sicilian emotions interspersed with mouthwatering Sicilian dishes that we eat vicariously with the inspector. Comic moments abound. And Montalbano's excitable assistant Catarella has plenty of opportunities to garble messages and barge explosively through doors.
If you're only just discovering Andrea Camilleri, I envy you. You have all his books ahead of you. I'd suggest reading every one. If you're a Montalbano fan, I think you'll be quite delighted with this latest arrival. I was.
In "The Potter's Field", Inspector Montalbano faces a murder case that begins with the discovery of a chopped up body in a bag; a mini-rebellion and malaise at his police station; and the daily personal struggles with the human aging process. The strongest part of this fine crime novel is, as always with author Camilleri, the interplay of the wonderfully colorful characters. There are times when you can imagine Fellini orchestrating this rich mix. The procedural element of the story is relatively transparent, but Montalbano's deductions and moves toward solving the central crime of the book are not, and therefore the book's conclusion(s)--to the reader's pleasure--is invisible until the last few pages.
This book has it all--an intelligent and engrossing plot, great characters and entertaining cultural notes (Montalbano is a gourmand whose many encounters with Sicilian cuisine are recorded by the author in minute detail). Highly recommended.
A fabulous detective story and novel.
One has always been able to read these books on two levels. The first is just to treat the book as another police procedural novel, albeit one of very high quality. The other way is to see it as a meditation on Sicilian society as well as the irony of becoming more insightful about life as our bodies age and we face the back end of life.
The Potter's Field delves into this second way to read the books better than any other book in the series. We still have all the wonderful characters in Montalbano's professional and personal life. But Camilleri has really devised a couple of plot lines which exceed his recent works.
I loved this book and could not put it down. You won't be able to either.
In this one, Montalbano and his cohort find themselves knee deep in the mud in a field where a bagful of carved up human remains that are well nigh unidentifiable--fingertips gone, face battered beyond recognition, etc.--has just been found. In other words, it seems to have all the marks of a Mafia hit. And yet, for reasons he can't explain, Montalbano senses there's more to it than that. Luckily, he'll happen upon a clue to that conundrum in a book written a few years back by Andrea Camilleri that he'd never gotten around to reading. (You can find out which one in the Notes at the back of the book.)
In the course of all this, one of his detectives goes off the rails and a gorgeous woman who can't seem to keep her hands off any man, including Montalbano, comes into the picture, along with a dying don, a butcher, a monarchist landlady and a dental bridge from South America. Meanwhile, after nearly drowning, a depressed Montalbano concludes that "Mature, elderly, of a certain age, no longer young, getting on in years: [are] all ways to soften but not change an essential fact--that he was getting unavoidably, irremediably old."
Well, maybe so, but those little gray cells of his are still in fine form. Women still find him sexy. And this case is one of his best.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All of camilleris books are gripping exciting fun .inspector salvo better than Sherlock Holmes. Very strong recommend to lovers of sicily andmysteriesPublished 3 months ago by Sheldon M. Wolf
In this predictable novel we are spared neurotic girlfriend Livia's numerous rants. The mystery was no mystery, halfway through the novel it was obvious who the murderer was. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Maia
Wonderful book. Fast paced and shrewd, a bemused but true view of how things go in Sicily. The Inspector Montalbano is such a human character.Published 10 months ago by Frederick Andrews
It has become the norm to have a Montalbano mystery begin with one of the inspector's dreams. The Potter's Field is no exception, and Montalbano's dream is a lulu. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Cathy G. Cole