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Paper Moon is the thrilling ninth instalment in the warm and witty Inspector Montalbano series, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri.
As he gets older, Inspector Montalbano is plagued by existential questions. But he doesn't have much time to wax philosophical before the gruesome murder of a man – shot in the face at point-blank range with his pants down – commands his attention.
Add two evasive, beautiful women as prime suspects, dirty cocaine, dead politicians, mysterious computer codes, and a series of threatening letters, and things soon get very complicated at the police headquarters in Vigàta . . .
Paper Moon is followed by the tenth book in the Sicilian crime series, August Heat.
'Montalbano's colleagues, chance encounters, Sicilian mores, even the contents of his fridge are described with the wit and gusto that make this narrator the best company in crime fiction' – Guardian
At the start of Camilleri's wry ninth Insp. Salvo Montalbano procedural (after 2007's The Patience of the Spider), the irascible detective is hoping for a quiet day at his Vig ta office when a visitor, the beguiling Michela Pardo, implores him to help her track down her missing brother, Angelo. Montalbano accompanies Michela to Angelo's apartment, where they find her brother's gunshot-blasted corpse in a compromising position. Montalbano later discovers a possible link between the murder and a series of drug overdoses whose victims include a popular senator. Angelo's affair with a professor's attractive wife offers another avenue of inquiry, but one that gets complicated when the inspector begins to fall in love with the suspect. Humor, much of it provided by Montalbano's eccentric colleagues, leavens the noirish story line, and the solution to the central puzzle is both psychologically plausible and intellectually satisfying. The crisp prose is a pleasure to read, and a last-minute twist a testament to the author's artistry.