Customer Reviews


146 Reviews
5 star:
 (57)
4 star:
 (58)
3 star:
 (23)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Montalbano but not as we know him
This, the 10th in Andrea Camilleri's wonderfully evocative Montalbano series,does not disappoint. It is August in Sicily and the heat is steaming off every page as Montalbano solves the mystery over the body of a teenage girl found in a trunk in the house his girlfriend(the long suffering Livia)has rented for the summer on behalf of mutual friends. There is the usual...
Published on 17 Jun 2009 by Mrs Pisaroni

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Summertime and the weather is sweltering
'He was sleeping so soundly that not even cannon-fire could have woken him.'

Like his last novel this one starts with Montalbano waking up - this time to a phone call from Livia. Montalbano's long suffering girlfriend knows that if they are going to be stuck in Vigata for August then she should have some friends to hang out with as Salvo's work tends to get in...
Published on 17 Sep 2009 by purpleheart


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Summertime and the weather is sweltering, 17 Sep 2009
By 
purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'He was sleeping so soundly that not even cannon-fire could have woken him.'

Like his last novel this one starts with Montalbano waking up - this time to a phone call from Livia. Montalbano's long suffering girlfriend knows that if they are going to be stuck in Vigata for August then she should have some friends to hang out with as Salvo's work tends to get in the way. A seemingly perfect holiday villa comes up for rent but it seems cursed...first with plagues of cockroaches and mice and then a dead body is found.

This is number ten in the series and I know I've read all ten, which I confess to being a little surprised at, as I couldn't tell you the plot of many. Camilleri is excellent at evoking time and place - in this case the unbearable heat of Sicily in August is dwelt on, and there's the usual homage to Sicilian food. He's also created a memorable detective and the feisty Livia as his leading lady....but, and there is a but, the plots can be very obvious and transparent to your average seasoned reader of murder mysteries. The lasting image from this novel is of Montalbano in a mid life crisis, exhausted by the heat and his work.

It's a good book for the sun bed and there's the usual entertaining expose of corruption - this time in the building trade.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Montalbano but not as we know him, 17 Jun 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This, the 10th in Andrea Camilleri's wonderfully evocative Montalbano series,does not disappoint. It is August in Sicily and the heat is steaming off every page as Montalbano solves the mystery over the body of a teenage girl found in a trunk in the house his girlfriend(the long suffering Livia)has rented for the summer on behalf of mutual friends. There is the usual humour, the moronic Catarella at the police station, the sly digs at Berlusconi,Montalbano's greediness,slyness,contempt of authority. There are the methods of policing which are so outrageous you just have to laugh-Montalbano and the pathologist sun bathe in deckchairs while waiting for forensics to finish their work!!! The usual variety of suspects and a beautiful girl, this time the victim's twin sister,who gets Montalbano into a sweat. But, Montalbano is feeling his age and the excellent finale in which he realises that he has been duped leaves him a more serious and reflective man. Indeed the ending has a darkness and moroseness about it that has not been apparent in the other books. Montalbano seems almost to have lost his illusions and is a sadder man for it. A worthy companion to the series and as always you are left longing for the next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot., 21 July 2009
By 
J. Rutgers "bookworm" (Brussels, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In August Heat Camilleri seems to be losing his touch. Is his age beginning to show? The book is rather verbose, the story line meanders along quite slowly and is definitely not up to Montalban's usual shenanigans. On the whole rather disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Camilleri's best, 28 April 2010
This review is from: August Heat (Paperback)
I've enjoyed the whole series of Montalban investigations, and was looking forward to reading this one. However, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't bad, just not as good as the others; it seemed to be a little more formulaic - I do hope that this is just a blip, and not an indication that Camilleri is running out of ideas fot the series. I note that the next in the series is due out soon and I expect that I shall read that one, too, in the hope that the old magic is back!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Montalbano's 10th - Enjoy the journey, 28 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. G. Foxton (THIRSK, NORTH YORKS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having once read an Umberto Eco book where over a page and a half is used to describe a door I tend to gravitate sometimes to books like "August Heat".

The writing is snappy with very few descriptions. It's all action and words and for the most part the translation is very good.

I enjoy these books for the humour, the grudging acceptance of the characters that their justice system is not without it's flaws and also the food. Whereas if we have a bad day we go to the pub Salvo goes and eats. He may have a point !

The plot itself is no great surprise and when you find out the guilty party there is a pang of "is that it" but there is a wonderful twist. The book is a bit like a journey where the destination may be obvious but the sheer joy of what you expereince on the way makes up for it.

Salvo also grapples with the fact that we are all getting older.

A good thing too is that having read this book I wanted to (and did) read another Camilleri.

Recommended !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope Montalbano hasn't lost the plot, 23 Jan 2010
As an avid fan of the Montalbano series I was looking forward to another dose of clever plotting, twisting dialogue, elastic bureaucrats, great scene setting and of-course all served with a lovely dish of pasta and grilled fish.

August Heat is hot - you can feel the sun radiating off the stones and living in Australia as I do, entirely sympathise with the close, hot air of non-air conditioned rooms and that startling hit in the face summer heat as you step outside.

However the depth of plot, the clever word play and Montalbano's ongoing relationship agonies are given a light dusting off and there is a disappointing absence of all the other eccentric characters normally such a feature of Camilleri's books. I guess there were all on summer holidays!! The plot is thin and too predictable - although an element of knowing whodunnit with Montalbano can add to the enjoyment of the books. The 'moral' dilemma he faces (and his response) is only just believable.

These books have been a great source of escapism, fun and food and I missed them all in this offering. However, I remain a fan and look hopefully to the next dish of Montalbano to be served by Camilleri. I am giving it a 3 as I would feel terribly disloyal to do otherwise.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars August Heat, 18 Nov 2009
By 
B. Wright (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an enjoyable book, easy to read and humorous too - light-hearted is the best way to describe it. Set in Italy, the story follows Montalbano as he tries to uncover the mystery of an unidentified body which has been found by some holiday makers. There are red herrings, corrupt businessmen and even a misdirected love affair along the way, yet the pacing is good and Camilleri is skilled enough to keep you on your toes. My only criticism is that the plot is a little formulaic, working through 'body found - wrong suspect arrested - clues lead nowhere' to the point where the right suspect is eventually found. There is humour throughout, lots of food and much mention of corruption within the Italian police system, though a minor failing is that being the tenth book of the series, some minor characters are not properly characterised. These criticisms are only minor though, and the quality of writing (albeit, in translation) more than makes up for it. It's easy to pick up, and the sentimental musing of Montalbano on ageing towards the end of the book are touching and sincere. It is a breeze to get through and I will definitely be picking up another Camilleri book to follow more of Monatalbano's mysteries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sicily's most famous detective feels the heat..., 1 Aug 2009
By 
Love Books "Jessie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Camilleri's books about Sicilian detective Salvo Montalbano inevitably are compared with Donna Leon's stories about Venice's Brunetti, with Brunetti being the more cultured, better educated and more refined of the two. This also applies to the way the books are written Montalbano's more rough-and-ready, sometimes crude, but always big-hearted approach to crime solving seems to fit better with the fact that he's in Sicily and I have always enjoyed the descriptions of places, food and the sea that pepper the Montalbano books even if they aren't quite as beautifully-written or subtle as Leon's.

In this book, Montalbano discovers the body of a brutally-murdered young girl inside a trunk hidden in an illegal apartment in a building rented by friends for the summer. He, of course, solves the crime aided and abetted by a cast of characters who have featured in previous books and a beautiful and seductive young woman, who hasn't.

I enjoyed this book very much, it's a very easy read with a twist at the end, and I found Montalbano's reflections on ageing touching, but agree with previous readers that there isn't really much of a mystery - the culprit is flagged up very early on. And I would have given it four stars were it not for a huge implausibility that I won't mention because it will spoil the plot, but it annoyed me no end.

Very good book for easy summer beach-reading, especially if you're going to Sicily.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer Reading or Climate Change Warning?, 21 Aug 2009
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was actually reading this on some fairly hot days in August in London - up to 30C. But this is nothing to the tortures that Inspector Montalbano goes through in Sicily! I gave up counting how many times it was described how he changed his dripping wet clothes and was disgusted by his sweatiness!!

I was torn between a 3 and 4 star review for this book - on the one hand there is a pretty good mystery story struggling to escape from endless descriptions of how hot it is - you certainly get a sense of the place and I think it is a salutory warning about how the Mediterranean is going to end up with African climate. But do we need to be reminded of this on every page?

In a way this story is almost like the exact opposite of Wallander - where you have the cold bleak Swedish landscapes - here we have the passionate Italian detective, mired in corruption, Mafia and sexual perversion. So I can see how all this gives it its distinctive "flavour" and I certainly can imagine some of the beaches described and seeing them in a television production...?

But this is strong stuff and not for the faint-hearted - no Midsomer Murders. Montalbano encounters the worst of humanity and struggles with his own conscience as he is seduced by the victim's sister.

I enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down - you are literally "immersed" in another world and the narrative drives you on - even when Montalbano is too hot to move and is inactive.

I must admit that I'm not sure about this - on the one hand there are evocations of picturesque landscapes and seascapes - a people passionate about food, love and life. But then there is the endemic corruption, nasty crimes and the debilitating heat?

I admire some parts and the style is certainly different and in a way - "honest" - but it's not a good advert for Sicily and don't we already expect that the home of the Mafia will be like this? I am intrigued to read others of the series and will suspend my judgement until then.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this in the shade..., 6 July 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Camilleri's latest is one of his best. The descriptions of a Sicilian heatwave (accompanied by Biblical plagues )are so evocative you find yourself mopping your brow. All the usual ingredients (Montalbano's reluctance to go on holiday, a foxy lady to lead him astray, the shadow of the Mafia behind the crime)but not many descriptions of food. It was just too hot for Montalbano to indulge his primary passion to the full!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews