The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri

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The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The twelfth Montalbano mystery is as fresh and intriguing as ever. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: June 2011
Publisher: Mantle
ISBN: 978-0330507660

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Inspector Montalbano awoke one morning and saw the body of a horse on the beach in front of his house, but it's not long before it disappears, leaving only a track in the sand. How is he to investigate this when he doesn't know where the horse came from? It isn't long though before equestrian champion Rachele Esterman arrives at police headquarters to report her horse missing. It had been stabled at the home of Saverio Lo Duca, one of the richest men in Sicily – and one of his horses is missing too. When Montalbano finds that he and his home are under threat he wonders who he has upset – and the list of possibilities is disturbingly large and influential.

This is the twelfth Montalbano novel and you would think that by now they would be getting a little tired – or I would be getting a little tired of them – but neither applies. The plot is still fresh – in fact this one is about as complex as any for a long while – and even when characters we know reappear it's like meeting old friends. You wonder what's happened since you last saw them. I'm always relieved that Catarella is OK as he never fails to raise a smile.

If I have one complaint about the Montalbano novels it's that I get through them so quickly. They're compact, relying on the strength of the plot to carry the reader along rather than verbiage to fill the pages and there's not a word wasted. Part of this is down to Camilleri, but the translation is, as ever, by New York poet Stephen Sartarelli. He can only work with what he's given but he leaves the book with a flow and polish which can be missing in some translations. Don't overlook his notes at the end of the book as they provide real insights into points which the casual reader might otherwise miss.

The consequence of all this is that the book is a page-turner. I read it in two sittings with a rather resentful break in between to have a meal – and I probably wouldn't have done that if some of the food described in the book hadn't made me so hungry. Now I've got to wait until the next book in the series – and hopefully that won't be any further ahead than next year.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you're new to the Camilleri novels then you might like to start at the beginning. They can all be read as stand alones – but, you never know, there might be another one out by the time that you get to this one!

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Buy The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri at

Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano Books in Chronological Order


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