- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (5 Aug. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330492861
- ISBN-13: 978-0330492867
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 275 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano mysteries) Paperback – 5 Aug 2005
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The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humour, and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily. To read him is to be taken to that glorious, tortured island. (Donna Leon)
Inspector Montalbano makes his first appearance in this bestselling, award-winning seriesSee all Product description
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I am encouraged to pursue the relationship, though I hope future plots will not cause me so much re-reading to sort out the characters as troubled me here. Otherwise, I was engaged by this tale of corrupt bureaucrats and lawyers, together with a Swedish femme fatale, all drawn into the investigation of a seemingly upright citizen found murdered with his trousers down. We are, remember, in Mafia country though not featuring any of the cult's aristocracy.
It was Montalbano himself who kept me turning the pages, a policeman as willing to cut corners as any of the villains he pursues. But no super-tec; he fires at a supposed criminal only to discover that he has shot his own reflection. Naturally, he succeeds in the end - or, after a second reading, I think that is what happens.
Signor Camilleri has a light touch and a welcome sense of humour. Grazie.
This is the first volume, and all the familiar characters appear to be present and correct. There are some very minor divergences from the tv series. Having been written by an italian, this is perhaps more of an insiders book set in Italy, less strident in its local colour than Aurelio Zen. It is however still very evocative of Italy.
The book works well in its own right, even if you are familiar with the tv series then there is additional material here to enjoy. If you have not seen the tv series then the welter of characters may be a bit confusing, but if you persevere with the series all will become clear.
At first, I thought the writing was a bit flowery but soon got into it and, anyway, that's the way Italians are or at least that's the way my Italian friends and acquaintances are.
Montalbano is a great character, flawed, cynical, committed to doing what is right, even if it is not the official way to do it, and dispensing justice in his own, unofficial way - love it!.
One review I read commented on the difficulty of keeping track of who the characters are and this is where the Kindle, with its search function really comes into its own - instead of having to flip through page after page in a paper book, I can use the search facility to quickly find what I want to know and then get straight back to where I was.
Now, I just have to wait for the rest of the Montalbano books to come up on 99p deals
Inspector Montalbano seems generally content with life and is in a generally relaxed mood throughout ‘The Shape of Water’. His long-distance relationship with Livia is going well, and he is in a generous and forgiving mood towards those whose misdemeanours are a result of good intentions. However, his colleagues play a fairly small role in this story, and as a result, there is much less humour than in the other books, which are extremely funny in parts. There is also less emphasis on eating good food, but despite that, the Inspector solves the mystery!
If you love the Inspector Montalbano stories you will want to read this anyway – if you've never read any of them before then I can strongly recommend them, but possibly start with one of the others in the series.
The plot is very complicated. A right-wing corrupt engineer is found dead in a car on some waste land. A garbage collector finds a valuable necklace just before finding the body but keeps the necklace secret in the hope that it will fund his sick child's medical treatment. Montalbano sets about investigating the death but he is continually thwarted by his superiors and politically powerful people who want the whole episode swept under the carpet. But, of course, Montalbano presses on with his search for the culprits - although he often gets a bit sidetracked by women who seem unable to keep their clothes on in his company!
All in all it is a fun read and doesn't bear too much serious analysis. Although a "good guy" Montalbano is not above a little rule-bending himself - such as changing evidence to protect people he cares for.
An ideal summer holiday read!
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Otherwise quite boring.