The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

3.74 (7,908 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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The goats of Vigata once grazed on the trash-strewn site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavour. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture. The coroner's verdict is death from natural causes - refreshingly unusual for Sicily. But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case - even though he's being pressured by Vigata's police chief, judge, and bishop. Picking his way through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower, and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 18mm | 222.26g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0330492861
  • 9780330492867
  • 88,600

Review Text

Homicide there certainly is but less food and wine than the subtitle would lead the reader to expect. Never mind; the crime is complicated, the setting refreshingly different and the police inspector, Salvo Montalbano, conscientious to a degree. He needs to be. From his criminal contacts to the lawyers everyone involved in the case seems to be lying. Silvio Luparelli, the victim, is reputedly an upright man, so when his body is found in highly compromising circumstances on a patch of waste ground used by prostitutes and drug dealers, our inspector becomes very suspicious. He is pressurized to accept that the man's death is natural but he argues his way into gaining time. Montalbano has friends in all sorts of places and his trustworthy manner makes him new ones - not just among the rich and powerful. He's a likeable hero with forthright views and appropriately inquisitive habits. The Sicilian background is detailed and an appendix of notes is provided by the translator to explain certain institutions or puzzling turns of phrase. Corruption among the political candidates and everyday violent crime are problems that Montalbano has to accept but not forgive. Even when he is away from Sicily and staying with his lover he cannot shake off their depressing effect. But there is humour too. The inspector's way with words is witty and cutting and some of the situations described verge on the farcical. The narrative is cool, becoming more deadpan as the suspense increases. On the cover Donna Leon is quoted as praising the novelist's sense of humour, sense of place and sense of despair. Picador promises to publish all five books in the series. Good news. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy's most famous contemporary writers. The Montalbano mysteries have been best-sellers all over Europe. He lives in Rome. Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator. He lives in more

Rating details

7,908 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 21% (1,637)
4 42% (3,303)
3 30% (2,374)
2 6% (490)
1 1% (104)
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