Written about 10 years ago but only now translated into English, this is not the best introduction to the wonderful Montalbano series, but will appeal to die-hard fans. Salvo is in his 30s, just promoted and gets transferred to Vigata - the well-known scene of his later adventures.
Much is made of firsts in the story - the first time Montalbano sees what becomes his home, the first time he visits a restaurant which becomes 'his', his first meeting with a journalist who becomes a firm friend, his first meeting with police colleagues.
The story itself is only short, a novella easily read in an hour or two, and concerns a young girl who catches Montalbano's interest and her involvements with the corrupt politics and power families of the region. It doesn't have quite the same complexity and depth of the full-length novels but does give a taster of what comes later.
This is a marvellous series and Montalbano a very cool investigator - long-time fans will enjoy this, but it's not the best place to start for anyone new to Camilleri.
(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)