Review - THE WINGS OF THE SPHINX, Andrea Camilleri
The 11th Montalbano book this is a series that I'm tragically reading out of order, behind the publication dates and sadly not often enough.
Of course fans know about the food, and the scenery, and the grumpiness of Montalbano. Combine that with the vague lunacy of the members of the rest of the police force he has to work with and there's a sense of affection about these books.
Which stands out markedly against the relationships that Montalbano has with everyone including his on/off/distant/what exactly is their relationship girlfriend Livia.
Around this investigation, which revolves largely around the difficulties in identifying the dead woman, Montalbano's relationship with Livia is off again - and this time it seems terminal.
So stand by for a lot of soul searching, and dithering about with she said / he said / or they simply said nothing because neither wanted to pick up the phone. Add to that the standard pressures from above, the side and below with Montalbano's team also supposed to be investigating the kidnapping of a local man - who everyone, but his wife, thinks has done a runner.
If you love this series, then there's really not a bad book, although there are favoured ones. Perhaps because of the heavy concentration on the relationship between Montalbano and Livia, this does bog a bit on occasion. In the same way that finishing the chocolate dessert might get a bit tricky at the end of a fabulous meal. As always, the real problem with this series is that it's impossible to read any of them and not be hungry. And somewhat disappointed that your fridge doesn't reveal the sorts of delicacies that Montalbano's does.
Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His relationship with Livia is once again on the rocks and-acutely aware of his age-he is beginning to grow weary of the endless violence he encounters. Then a young woman is found dead, her face half shot off and only a tattoo of a sphinx moth giving any hint of her identity. The tattoo links her to three similarly marked girls-all victims of the underworld sex trade-who have been rescued from the Mafia night-club circuit by a prominent Catholic charity. The problem is, Montalbano's inquiries elicit an outcry from the Church and the three other girls are all missing.