“You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen. Aglow with local color, packed with flint-dry wit, as fresh and clean as Mediterranean seafood — altogether transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano.” A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
With Inspector Montalbano's most recent outings hitting the New York Times bestseller list, Andrea Camilleri's darkly refined Italian mysteries have become favorites of American crime novel fans. This latest installment finds Montalbano in search of his missing right-hand man.
Before leaving for vacation with Livia, Montalbano witnesses a seagull doing an odd dance on the beach outside his home, when the bird suddenly drops dead. Stopping in at his office for a quick check before heading off, he notices that Fazio is nowhere to be found and soon learns that he was last seen on the docks, secretly working on a case. Montalbano sets out to find him and discovers that the seagull's dance of death may provide the key to understanding a macabre world of sadism, extortion, and murder.
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.