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The Track of Sand [Paperback]

Andrea Camilleri , Stephen Sartarelli
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2010 Inspector Montalbano Mysteries (Book 12)
"The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humor, and the sense of despair that fill the air of Sicily."
-Donna Leon


Inspector Salvatore Montalbano wakes from strange dreams to find a gruesomely bludgeoned horse carcass in front of his seaside home. When his men came to investigate, the carcass has disappeared, leaving only a trail in the sand. Then his home is ransacked and the inspector is certain that the crimes are linked. As he negotiates both the glittering underworld of horseracing and the Mafia's connection to it, Montalbano is aided by his illiterate housekeeper, Adelina, and a Proustian memory of linguate fritte. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be charmed by Montalbano's blend of unorthodox methods, melancholy self-reflection, and love of good food.


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Review

"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."
-Booklist

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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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camilleri Does It Again! Nov. 6 2010
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Andrea Camilleri's series featuring Chief Inspector Salvo Montalbano is one of the best crime series out there; and his translator, Steven Sartarelli, a poet in his own right, is incredibly adept at translating from the Sicilian to English, giving us Montalbano's personality just as Camilleri intends it. In The Track of Sand, the twelfth in the series, Montalbano wakes up one morning to find a dead horse on the beach in front of his house. Worse, it is evident that it was been brutally clubbed repeatedly, escaped its captors in extremis and finally collapsed on the sand, able to go no further. How this happened and who did such a despicable thing leads him back to his old friend Ingrid, who has a friend, Rachele, visiting her, and yes, Rachele is a horsewoman and a fine one at that. And as always with Montalbano, one thing leads to another, both in terms of the crime and in his personal life....It's always a great day when a new Camilleri becomes available, and this book is no exception - well-drawn plot, fascinating characters and a flavour of Sicily that is simply unique. You don't really need to have read the earlier books in the series to enjoy this one, although doing so, of course, always enhances the enjoyment. Very highly recommended! (Note: This review concerns the e-book, read on my Kindle.)
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aging ungracefully in Sicily Oct. 29 2010
By Patto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Inspector Montalbano is now fifty-six - and not liking it. His appetite is off. He actually skips lunch more than once! He's not seeing as well and fears he may need glasses. He's even getting forgetful! At least he's still got it as a lover, but sex leaves him feeling used.

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.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a series better than chocolate! Oct. 26 2010
By mellu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series is so very good that I just sit around and look at the copy for a while before beginning to read, because I know in a couple of hours it will be gone and I'll want another one!

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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camilleri and Montalbano in top form Oct. 30 2010
By Blue in Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here is one of author Andrea Camilleri's best tales yet in the wonderful Inspector Montalbano series. In this serpentine story of murder, passion and cuisine, there is great wit, wonderful characters, a highly original plot and clever homages to Swedish counterparts Per Wahlo and Hankell, Monty Python, and even French impressionist Edouard Manet, among others. A general context is provided, as usual, by ever unique Sicily and Sicilians. Salvo Montalbano's ongoing ruminations about the aggravations of aging provide a secondary theme that helps drive the story line.

"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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Horse Race Nov. 25 2010
By Ted Feit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Strange dreams and perfect intuition and logic are the keys to solving a mystery in this Inspector Montalbano novel. It seems that even when he is asleep he can proceed with an investigation with dispatch.

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.

Recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Like Slapstick June 2 2011
By ReadsALot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended per my previous selection of mysteries by foreign authors. The author has published several books. Other reviewers have summarized the story line and most praised it highly.

I found it to be a combination of a slapstick comedy and a "B" movie, neither of which would I choose as sources of entertainment. The story was "thin" at best with many circumstances varying between too unrealistic and childish.
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