Joyce Lagow's Reviews > The Age of Doubt

The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri
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's review
Jun 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle-edition, police-procedural, italian-literature
Read from May 31 to June 03, 2012

When Commisario Salvo Montalbano first arrived on the scene, he was a 48 year old volatile Chief Inspector stationed in Vigata, Sicily. His relationship with Livia, who lived in Genoa, had been going on for some years. Montalbano himself was a vigorous, self-confident man at the peak of his powers--and something of a gourmand.

In this latest book, 10 years later Montalbano is approaching 60. He's still in Vigata, he's still a gourmand, eating at Da Enzo's, he’s still involved with Livia. But. The relationship is, at best, a stagnant one, and Montalbano has doubts about it. He also is beginning to have doubts about himself--just where is he heading? You might call it a late-start mid-life crisis.

Illuminating and driving this state of mind and emotions is Montalbano’s latest case: a dead, faceless man has been towed into Vigata Harbor by a yacht that is itself somewhat suspicious. Assisting Montalbano in the case is Lieutenant Belladonna, who lives up to and even surpasses her name (beautiful woman)--and who seriously engages Montalbano’s attentions.

Somewhat different from his usual book, Camilleri serves up a more subdued, more mature Montalbano. But that is not to say that the book lacks other graces. Related to the first scene (which is funny in and of itself), there is a scene between Montalbano and Livia that had me in tears from laughing so hard.

All the favorite characters are back: Mimí Augello, Fazio, Catarella, Dr. Pasquano. As usual, Stephen Sartarelli’s idiomatic translation is wonderful, catching the rhythms of Italian speech. You really do get a sense of Sicilian life from these books.

A good read by one of my favorite police procedural authors.

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