For the longest time, I left this blog sink into oblivion. I was burned out on books reviews. Today, I am ready to continue this blogging adventure. To avoid burn-outs, I will add some twists and changes to the previous format. I will talk of books that have impressed me, of movies that I believe are worth watching, and audio books that keep me on the edge of my seat while I am driving. I will not take into consideration titles inflated by the advertising machinery built by the big publishing corporations.
The first book I have chosen is The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri. Art director, journalist and writer, Camilleri brought to his novels the sharp structure of movie scripts. I am not a fun of mysteries and thrillers. However, the books of Andrea Camilleri grabs the reader’s attention immediately. I could not put this story down until I read the last word on the last page.
Camilleri was (he died in 2021) the author of a long series of mysteries centered on the work of an Italian policeman: Inspector Montalbano. Often hindered by autocracy and corruption, short fused Montalbano tries is best to bring Mafia bosses and corrupt politicians to justice. The Inspector’s series has received much acclaim in Europe. A TV show continues to keep Montalbano’s fans glued to their screens. If you are curious and want to see this Italian policeman in action, you can access some of the shows on YouTube.
The Shape of Water is the first book in the series. The story is simple and brutal: Sicily, a famous, wealthy engineer is found dead at the wheel of his car. Parked in a secluded corner of a dilapidated property, where prostitutes and drug dealers meet every night to provide their services, the car reveals traces of an intimate encounter. Montalbano is called to solve this crime. In the end, the intrigue will involve more than one upper level Italian government official.
Written with a prose that is stringent and to the point, with deep love for Sicily and its people, this book provides an unforgettable profile of Mediterranean living. Incredibly appetizing Sicilian food descriptions and wine commentaries accompany this story and help the reader to feel rooted in the story. Camilleri treats with irony and compassion many of his characters, reserving a dry sarcasm for the villains du jour.
Note: the library has many of the titles on this series due to the generous donations of several Montalbano’s fans.