Customer Review

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, classic mystery in the heat of Modena, 28 May 2010
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
translated by Iain Halliday
Cataldo is an introspective and self-contained man, quiet and committed to his job. He is called in when the body of Giulio Zoboli is found in his study, shot through the temple. The assumption is that the death is suicide, but Cataldo and his team soon discover that, as his wife Miriam suspects, Zoboli did not die a natural death.
Zoboli was an academic, working on literary analysis and criticism at Bologna University. He was frustrated because his mentor, Professor Luigi Ramondini, has taken his research findings to present at a conference, ostensibly on his behalf. Not only did Zoboli feel that Ramondini would take the credit that belongs to him, but also Zoboli did not have tenure. The Italian system of awarding university appointments via annual concorsi is famously corrupt and nepotistic. Zoboli was dependent on Ramondini for his chance at a permanent position, so did not insist on presenting the work himself, even though it would have greatly improved his chances of a professorship.
As well as this festering argument, a pale stranger had appeared in town a few days before, asking a hotel manager where Zoboli lives. Calling himself Alberto Ferraro, he followed Zoboli for a while, eventually going to his house and revealing himself to be a fellow academic wanting help with his research. Delighted at the prospect of discussing his work with a fellow-specialist, Zoboli agreed to meet Ferraro later that evening, half an hour before the fatal incident. When Miriam returned home from a couple of days away, she found her husband's body in the study and called the police, in the shape of Inspector Cataldo.
I loved this novel, which was written in 1999 but is only just translated and published in England by the small, independent publisher Hersilia Press. I am so pleased that I've been able to read this book, which certainly has an element of a Father Brown story and a dash of Hercule Poirot, but is distinctive in its own right. The author delivers on all counts: a tight plot which has a satisfying resolution despite a large number of motives and suspects - and indeed, additional murders; a lovely sense of place; and an appealing protagonist. Cataldo is a far cooler customer than his excitable fictional countryman Salvador Montalbano, but is intriguing in his philosophy of life and in his half-revealed past. According to the publisher's website, there are three more Inspector Cataldo novels yet to be translated, and I shall be first in the queue to read them when they are. Iain Halliday has done a lovely job with this book, and I hope he will continue to interpret the rest of the series for English-language readers.
A longer version of this review is at my blog Petrona, []
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.4 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
£7.99 £6.70
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Kingston upon Thames, Surrey United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,818