The Safety Net (Inspector Montalbano)
The best of The Safety Net comes in the first chapters. Detective Montalbano is asked to find out what lies behind six reels of home movies, all taken at exactly the same time, on exactly the same day for six consecutive years, and all showing exactly the same scene: part of a wall. This intriguing premise should be the start of a terrific story in the hands of a writer of Andrea Camilleri’s quality. Instead, he switches horses in midstream, introducing a second and much less interesting mystery about an attack on a local school by two armed men. Around page 160, the author seems to suddenly remember the first story and casually mentions that Montalbano had ‘practically forgotten the mystery of the wall.’ Ditto for the reader. It might be expected that the two parts come together in some clever manner, but that never happens. Moreover, both mysteries are rather transparent and easily deciphered early in the development of each. The frequent descriptions of Italian food and cooking become tedious after a while and the attempt to render the local Italian dialect in English makes for some annoyingly difficult-to-understand dialogue. True fans of Inspector Montalbano may enjoy this book but perhaps not many others will.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller