It was all happening at the general management's office down town in Vigàta, `King Midas Associates'. Mariastella Cosentino was sitting behind the cashier's window as usual, three policeman Mimi Augello, Fazio and Galluzzo were performing a kind of ballet depending on which way the pistol was pointing at them, Inspector Montalbano kept his eye on the assailant who was making everybody nervous. The old man himself was in his eighties had advance Parkinson's, the pistol was shaking so badly in his hands someone was bound to end up shot, he was clearly destressed all this guy wanted was his money.
Emanuele Gargano belonged to the short-lived breed of businessman fast climber and ready for the scrap heap age fifty. This man was a Financial miracle worker and had given Vigàta the economic reawakening it needed, he had set up offices and with his charismatic charm enticed people to invest their life savings and pensions, for a couple of years now his firm had shown a high profit turn over, word spread and more invested, for the people of this town it was about making money as quickly as possible, then as fast as Emanuele Gargano had breezed into town he had suddenly disappeared and all the people's Vigàta savings with him.
Montalbano had promised the old man he would get his money back and that's not all he would search everywhere for this Emanuele Gargano and bring him to justice but as complications begin to increase so does Montalbano's personal and professional king size headache.
Andrea Camilleri has written a wonderful Montalbano mystery series, what I love about this series would be the characterisations and language, the usage of dialogue in conversation it's all been kept real it's got Sharp wit and ironic comedy, the sly comments on Italian life and culture keeps things interesting and amusing. Montalbano is a fantastic leading character his middle aged, melancholy vein, recites certain favourite authors lines in moments of doubt, clearly well read. His ability of untangling his cases with certain logic and gets to the truth by not feeling afraid to explore all areas even into obsession and his wonderful passion for great flavoured food is just endless.
This Sixth novel is fantastic like all the others, I love all the characters just picking a couple out, Mimi Augello is great at being second in command, very ambitious with a real comical side as a dedicated womaniser, especially since his trying to pass himself off to Montalbano as excellent marriage material, Montalbano never believing this but remains the good boss sits silently and listens while Mimi relays his justifications. Another character who brings a smile to my face is Catarella (Cat) in charge of telephone calls his got wonderful dialogue it has me in stitches, he really tries so hard, Montalbano knows his got an angel on his team.
All Montalbano mysteries start in comedy but end in horror and melodrama but it done with lots of human interest in every plot, it's highly recommended from me and the whole series deserves to be read from the beginning.
A special mention to poet Stephen Sartarelli who has translated each book smoothly and clearly, managing to keep its humour through out and for the very informative notes given at the back on wording. Thank You.
Additional Notes: UK addition under the title, The Scent of the Night.