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The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, Book 1) Paperback – May 31, 2005
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Intrusion: A Novel
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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 ›
A couple of things that you need to know: you don't need to read the series in order, but it helps if you read for character. As with any initial foray into a series, this first outing is not perfect, but it is very promising. It is a fast read but don't think that means "mind candy." I read for character and I forgive on plot, unless the plot is ridiculous. Other things you should know: Montalbano is Camilleri's homage to Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, a Spanish author who created a lusty detective and gourmand, Pepe Carvalho. Salvo loves his food, loves his girlfriend (roller-coaster relationship), and is fiercely loyal to his friends: womanizing Mimi, the klutzy but loveable Catarella, and the too-much-information Fazio, and he has a hate/subversive relationship with the cast of bureaucrats around him. Dr. Pasquano expresses his exuberance for the day he can do Salvo's autopsy. Salvo likes to interrupt the man's card games to get the clinical findings early.
Be ready for contemplative swims, some profanity, and an introduction to southern Italian culture (not the Sopranos). Last but not least, each novel comes with explanatory notes from the dedicated translator Stephen Sartarelli. I've attempted to read the author in the original; and it's a challenge. Andrea Camilleri is a man who writes with a particular Italian that he has Sicilianized and caramelized. Read for the ride and you might get hooked.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was rather lightweight compared with a Dibden story. Altough it was interesting enough for me to look at the next book in the series.Published 1 month ago by D Strode
It was a delightful and entertaining cop story. The Sicilian connection was s bonus.Published 1 month ago by Sharon O'Connor
I enjoyed this book so much. Hoping for many more great novels from this author.Published 1 month ago by Faye Ridenour
Such a great start. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.Published 3 months ago by Harriet G. Cramer
Excellent. ..maybe because I 'm on holidays!!!???? After reading so many from John Grisham.... this has been relaxing and so funny!!! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Isa
This is the first in the much-praised Inspector Montalbano mystery series set in Sicily. It's a quiet, controlled kind of detective novel, which offers delicious insights into... Read morePublished 5 months ago by William A Wagtail
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 6 months ago by Nick Spill