The Dance Of The Seagull (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) by Andrea Camilleri
|The Dance Of The Seagull (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) by Andrea Camilleri|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fifteenth book in the Montalbano series is one of the darkest yet, but it's still a compelling read. Definite recommendation.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: March 2013|
Montalbano was about to go on holiday with his girlfriend Livia and it was quite an event as they hadn't seen each other for three months. As he sat on his verandah Montalbano saw the death throes of a seagull - it was almost a macabre dance - and he couldn't get what happened out of his mind, convinced that it was an ill omen. When he picked Livia up at the airport he told her that he had to go into the office but that he would be home quickly. He meant it too. The first problem began when Fazio's wife rang to say that he hadn't arrived home since going out to meet Montalbano the night before. The second problem was that there had been no arrangement to meet the previous evening. In the context of what would happen that night the fact that Montalbano completely forgot about Livia was no more than a small blip.
It's probably one of the darkest of the Montalbano books - there are parts which are definitely not for the squeamish - but it gets to the heart of Sicilian life. You'll feel the heat, particularly in the arid interior and there's a telling example of the corruption of Italian politics. Some arid land was brought into full agricultural production by drawing water from aquifers but part of a road was built nearby and this required a tunnel which disturbed the aquifer. The road didn't join up to any other road - and the aquifer ceased to produce water. All was not lost though - the wells were very useful for disposing of inconvenient bodies.
All the usual characters are present. If anything Catarella's use of language is becoming even more outlandish but it's still a tribute to Camilleri's ingenuity and Stephen Sartarelli's superb translation that it always remains just this side of farce and never seems formulaic. Don't forget to have a look at Sartarelli's notes at the back of the book - they add greatly to the text. If you enjoy Italian food you're in for a treat too - I'm never quite certain whether I'm pleased or relieved that there are no recipes included.
The plot is more complex than many of the books and I was never entirely certain how it was going to work out. The end was both unexpected and only to be expected - you'll understand exactly what I mean when you read the book. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The book reads well as a stand alone. You'll perhaps miss a little by not knowing the backstory of the main characters but it's not a major problem. If you'd like to read the books in chronological order then you'll find the full list here. For another Italian crime series you might like to consider the Sandro Cellini series by Christabel Kent although it has to be said that Camilleri is hard to beat.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Dance Of The Seagull (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) by Andrea Camilleri at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Dance Of The Seagull (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) by Andrea Camilleri at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.