Interest in Andrea Camilleri's taciturn but epicurean inspector is at an all-time high. And with three of the last five novels in the series, including the award-winning The Potter's Field, hitting the New York Times bestseller list, this latest installment is certain to up the ante and win over a multitude of new fans.
In Treasure Hunt, Inspector Montalbano is hailed as a hero after news cameras film him scaling abuilding, gun in hand, to capture a pair of unlikely snipers. Shortly thereafter the inspector begins to receive cryptic messages in verse from someone challenging him to a treasure hunt. Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles - until they take a dangerous turn.
©2013 Andrea Camilleri; Translation by Stephen Sartarelli (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Grover Gardner does not simply READ Andrea Camilleri's "Inspector Montalbano" books---he PERFORMS them. Camilleri's wry dialogue and Gardner's spot-on narration makes this series a joy to listen to. Camilleri is a great storyteller. The dialogue and banter between the rather dyspeptic Inspector Montalbani and his colleagues is always entertaining. Likewise, Camilleri's often caustic observations about life in Italy (and Sicily, in particular) are fun to listen to. The mysteries in the Montalbano books are often rather convoluted and require some suspension of disbelief---but, again, they are generally quite enjoyable. And Camilleri's wit is quite impressive. (The books are also wonderfully translated from the original Italian.)
One caveat about "Treasure Hunt": For a book that starts off with a great deal of wry comic situations, the book takes an extremely dark turn at the end. The book starts off in very much a comic "Thin Man" vein, and suddenly becomes "Silence of the Lambs" at the end. It is a strange, incongruous mix. The resolution of the "treasure hunt" of the title is quite dark. And although I am generally willing to allow Camilleri to stretch credulity for the sake of a good story, the conclusion was a bit hard to take.
My reservations aside, it is still an entertaining story. And few audiobook narrators are as enjoyable to listen to as Grover Gardner.
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