Andrea Camilleri is the author of many books, including his Montalbano series, which has been adapted for Italian television and translated into nine languages. He lives in Rome.
In his seventh outing (after The Smell of Night), Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano is on the verge of resigning, beset as he is by life-police corrupted by politics, his favorite trattoria's chef resigning-and feeling that his investigative skills are dulling. Then two deaths presumed accidental and unrelated catch more than just his attention-he literally bumps into one body while swimming and feels a responsibility for the other-and Montalbano's instincts sharpen. Ingrid, an old friend whose marriage is in distress, supplies pivotal information (while provoking the jealousy of Montalbano's long-distance lover, Livia), and a journalist provides background on the illegal trafficking of children. Montalbano's lone-ranger tactics, undertaken despite the occasional pains of his aging body, infuriate his engaging staff, but the inspector is clearly back in top form. And he's also found a trattoria whose chef's cooking leaves him blissful, a discovery no less significant than Odysseus finding his long-lost Ithaca. A worthy addition to a smart, entertaining series.-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Camilleri's gripping seventh Inspector Montalbano mystery (after 2005's The Smell of the Night) successfully integrates serious political themes with a hero reminiscent of Colin Dexter's beloved Inspector Morse. Frustrated by his department's repressive handling of security for the G8 summit in Genoa, Montalbano seriously considers resigning. His attempt to unwind with a casual swim along the Sicilian seashore fails when he discovers a corpse in the water. The inspector's pursuit of the cause of death intersects with another mystery-the inquiry into a hit-and-run that claimed the life of a young boy who may have been victimized by human traffickers. When Montalbano realizes that he may have inadvertently aided the boy's victimizers, his internal turmoil intensifies. Despite Camilleri's hard look at modern-day slavery and child abuse, he maintains Montalbano's gallows humor, making this far from a run-of-the-mill police procedural. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler's Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret * Guardian *