The Track of Sand Paperback – Oct 26 2010
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"This series is distinguished by Camilleri's remarkable feel for tragicomedy, expertly mixing light and dark in the course of producing novels that are both comforting and disturbing."
About the Author
Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, bestsellers in Italy and Germany, has been adapted for Italian television and translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli lives in upstate New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
“The Track of Sand” is my first experience reading Camilleri and his well-known series. Having done so at this point was so smooth it felt I knew the protagonist for a long time and I easily picked the essence of who he was right from the start. Although this novel stands on its own two feet I am sure having read the previous installments would have been an asset.
The story opens with the brutal killing of a horse just off Inspector Montalbano’s veranda. The horse belongs to a stunning equestrian and thus starts the complicated relationship between Rachelle and the Inspector.
This is a complex whodunit plot set in a fictional Sicilian town where the protagonist, an Inspector of police is the character study in this story. We find a lot of local colours and many interesting players especially the seductive temptress and wealthy jockey. The narrative keeps the rapid pace of the investigative path with a few entertaining side trips and meals here and there.
Although the story is relatively short and is quite enjoyable read with a flavour of a Godfather movie peppered with intriguing passages and all the essential dialogue. There are also humorous moments, references to local issues, politics and culture. The plot may be convoluted but the creative chicanery and tweaking of the law provided a dramatic and satisfying development.
This may be my first book but will not be my last.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
And the case he has to solve with his blurring vision and beleaguered brain is peculiarly confusing.
One morning Montalbano finds the carcass of a horse in front of his house. It's been horribly beaten to death. The rage the inspector feels does not bode well for the perpetrators.
His investigation of the case has to be unofficial, for reasons I'll let you discover. It's a weirdly meandering investigation, too, with red herrings as big as whales, serious distractions presented by all too attractive women - and the Mafia breathing heavy in the background.
As always, the charm of the story is the inspector's eccentric interactions with his staff and associates. Montalbano seems incapable of having a conversation without yelling, stewing, interrupting, lying or longing to kill the other person. Andrea Camilleri's comic sense is unfailingly deft and utterly original.
If you've already read several Montalbano mysteries, The Track of Sand will be a treat. But if you're new to the series, I'd recommend starting at the beginning and going for total immersion.
Montalbano is a wonderful character and as with all great characters you feel you know him and can't wait to see what he's up to next. The setting, Sicily, is a fascinating character in itself, and takes you into a world that few Americans ever experience.
Start with the first one and work your way through the series. You won't regret it. A great read for lovers of detective fiction.
"The Track of Sand" starts with the brutal killing of a horse near Inspector Montalbano's beach house. The body of the animal quickly disappears and Montalbano's house is ransacked. The apparent owner of the horse--a stunningly beautiful Roman equestrian--shows up at the Vigata police station to report the animal missing, thus beginning a complicated relationship with the Inspector. The murkiness of the crime increases, but seems to be linked to a pending court case that involves Montalbano as a witness. As the investigation picks up steam, a bevy of aristocrats, local mafiosi and a human murder enter the picture. Meanwhile, Montalbano's personal life is complicated by a surfeit of beautiful and willing women, fading eyesight and the ever-important pursuit of a decent meal. Even by Camilleri standards, "Track.." has major twists and turns, but it is always plausible, intelligent and highly entertaining. The ending is as fresh and satisfying as one of Montalbano's daily three-course meals.
For anyone who hasn't read any of the Montalbano series, be forewarned that it is entirely addictive. Expect to stick with "The Track of Sand" from cover to cover in one sitting. it's that good.
He awakens one day and looks out of his beach house to see a bludgeoned horse lying in the sand. When his men arrive after his call to investigate, the horse has disappeared. In short order, Rachele, an equestrian champion rider, and Saverio Lo Duca, one of the richest men in Sicily, each report a missing horse. Which one was the horse the inspector sighted?
In consultation with Fazio, a colleague, Montalbano learns of a clandestine horse racing scheme operated by the mafia. Meanwhile, several burglary attempts take place at the inspector's house, as well as an arson attempt. What, if any, is the connection to the investigation? With his customary unorthodox methodology, the inspector proceeds to unravel all the possibilities.
With humor and charm, the author writes a procedural of a different kind: one which is full of good food, good-looking women and lots of fun. Eat, drink and read hearty.