What makes the Inspector Montalbano novels so enjoyable is the quirky nature not only of the characters but the plots which are filled with a craftiness matching that of the protagonist. And it is no less obvious in this 18th novel than in the preceding ones in this long-running series. It is filled with seemingly unrelated events that only Salvo Montalbano can unravel. It all begins when two bombs explode in front of unoccupied warehouses, causing little damage. Perhaps the bombs were meant to be a warning. But to whom?
Meanwhile there are all sorts of anonymous letters and phone calls with all kinds of misleading information. Then a bullet hole is discovered in the Inspector’s car. Meanwhile he becomes entangled in a mystifying affair with a gorgeous neighbor who apparently aims to seduce him. How to unravel it all is left to Montalbano as only he can put it all together.
Once again this book is wonderfully well translated, reflecting the unusual language of some of the characters and the smoothness of the author’s writing. There was a subsequent novel in the series, A Beam of Light, published this past September, as well as another, Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories, coming out later this month, and this reader can’t wait to pick them up.