The Dance of the Seagull is the fifteenth darkly humorous adventure starring Inspector Montalbano from bestselling author Andrea Camilleri.
Inspector Montalbano is awake at dawn, sitting on his porch, when his attention is caught by a seagull which falls from the sky, performing a strange dance, before lying down to die. Montalbano is perplexed by what he has witnessed and the scene hangs over him like an omen.
About to depart for a holiday with his girlfriend Livia, Montalbano makes a quick trip to the police station to tie up loose ends. But when his dear colleague Fazio is discovered missing – and it transpires that the policeman has been involved in his own secret investigations – Montalbano instead launches a desperate search for his lost friend, as time begins to run out . . .
Navigating a shadowy maze of smuggling, blackmail and the darkest murder, and moving from the docks of Vigàta to its deep, dry wells where the mafia hide their terrible crimes, Inspector Montalbano must have his wits about him to unravel this tangled mystery.
The Dance of the Seagull is followed by the sixteenth Inspector Montalbano novel, The Treasure Hunt.
Camilleri's agreeable 15th Insp. Salvo Montalbano mystery (after 2012's Age of Doubt) finds the Sicilian detective sitting on the deck of his home in Vig ta, watching a seagull performing a strange death dance. The image hovers in his mind during the events that follow, the first of which is the disappearance of his right-hand man, Fazio. This news is delivered by one of his men at the police station, the devoted Catarella, who speaks in a slang that, however appropriate to his character, sounds in translation like that of a cheesy B-movie Mafia character. Nevertheless, the wonderfully rendered camaraderie between Catarella and Montalbano is one of the book's highlights. In addition to searching for the missing Fazio, Montalbano tries to identify a body found in a deserted well. Both investigations are pieces of a larger, satisfying mystery in which Montalbano investigates, among other things, the docks and late-night deliveries from fishing trawlers.