What Montalbano should have been doing was resting, keeping the love nest warm with Livia tucked up against him, his official reason for withdrawing from society had something to do with the gun shot wound he received from his pervious job, but there was no doubt about it, this morning he could hear the telephone ringing. There were two options; the first, if he ignored the ringing he could carry on with his natural blissful way of life with Livia! Or secondly if he picked up, work, it only meant trouble, Montalbano reached for the phone.
One hour later he was standing at the scene of the crime, a kidnapping they said. A very pretty girl Susanna Mistretta, who lived with her father and mother in a country villa three miles outside of Vigata town. Susanna had gone to study at friends during the day but had not returned home as usual that evening. Her father of course was worried, time became late and he went searching for his daughter, but it was Susanna's boyfriend Francesco Lipari who finally spotted her abandoned moped about two hundred yards from her parents house. Montalbano was quite certain something had happened to the girl, as he made a closer inspection of the scene, it was the front wheel of the moped that clinched it, why was it facing towards Vigata? Backwards! It looked like it cared it was going the wrong way! As far as Montalbano was concerned this was his case, he'd just seen foul play.
This would be the Eighth book in the series and Camilleri has made a few slight changes with this one, which is charming and crafty. His given to us direct clues of which suspect could have done this crime and his done so quite blatantly, his thrown predictable right at us, but what Camilleri does not give away and therefore keeps us guessing till the last is the Psychology behind the crime, his showing how Montalbano forms his ideas quietly and goes about gathering evidence to support his facts and only then will he let us have the final verdict.
Some may also be disappointed that this time around Camilleri has left out some of that mouthwatering great-flavored foods but instead has spent more time on another intriguing passionate ingredients, Livia and Montalbano's relationship. Livia's presence and character begins to form nicely throughout this storyline remaining Montalbano's rock. Always happy to adjust her life to take care of her man, they argue but in a healthy way of dealing with one another, she takes the no nonsense approach in his darker moods but does understand what his trying to achieve in his world. Their relationship has the up's and down's of a long distance love, Nec tecum nec sine te - Neither with or without you.
Inspector Montalbano character is just fantastic to read, for his questionable brainstorms and unorthodox subversive opinions. Montalbano, a man approaching the end of his career, the rebel, the thinker, not afraid to explore all areas even into obsession. Sorting through a web of lies to find logic, searching for truth.
Andrea Camilleri has written a wonderful Montalbano mystery series. Having read all in the translation series, I love the characterization and language the usage of dialogue that has been kept real with sharp wit and ironic comedy moments, the sly comments on Italian life and culture keep things for me interesting and amusing.
A special mention to poet Stephen Sartarelli, I'm thoroughly enjoying his clear translation of each book and for the informative notes given at the back on wording. Thank you.
A Wonderful Read.