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THE OTHER END OF THE LINE- INSPECTOR MONTALBANO MYSTERIES

We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

Click on each name to read the review. If you would like to become part of the Viking Book Club, sign up sign up here >>

REVIEWS

Robin Wood

I’m unsure whether this is Camilleri’s last novel before his death earlier this year, however, I have previously read quite a lot of his Montalbano books over the years, and seen some of the television series.
Salvo Montalbano is a very attractive character and the reader learns about his loves and hates, his meals, his tiredness, his walks and his relationship with his long-term girlfriend Livia.
The Other End of the Line is more than the usual murder mystery story as it includes lots of detail of refugees landing in Sicily. Various views are expressed, but Moltalbano expresses sympathy for the plight of these people fleeing war and poverty, which perhaps echoes Camilleri’s viewpoint and brings the remit of the novel to a current and very real human crisis.
As regards the murder mystery, the identity of the murderer is kept from the reader as the character responsible is not introduced until towards the end of the novel and so it then becomes obvious that this person is the murderer. Moltanbano congratulates himself that his hunch has paid off and he has solved the case and unconcerned that the murderer escaped.
There is some humour in the novel, usually provided by Caterella with his dialect.

Felicity Duncan

I found this book rather twee. The plot wasn’t involved enough and the subject of the refugees was abandoned half way through. I’ve watched the TV series but this also failed to hold my attention. It was an obviously translated book which I felt literally “got lost”.
One or two of the characters are amusing but not enough for me to read another in the series. A British equivalent would be Alexander McCall Smith, maybe these books would be better aimed at teenagers wanting to read dated crime novels? Just not enough depth or involvement for me.

Irene Brockie

What a wonderful book, I absolutely loved it. I am so glad I was given this book to read I realise I've been missing out on a great author just because I think I don't like the murder mystery genre.
I like the character inspector Montalbano and loved the description of where he lived, the foods and people. Nice to read about people helping immigrants for a change too. I can't wait to read more.

David Todd

It is always a thrill to read another instalment in the career of Inspector Montalbano and this does not disappoint in any way.
A well constructed plot with all the usual suspects of this series of books well to the fore.
It is also sad to consider that the recent sad death of Camilleri means that this is almost certainly the last saga about the detectives in Vigata about their battles with local and international crime and the authorities whose agenda is often not just to find the culprits.
This book is about the murder of a tailor who is making a suit for a somewhat reluctant Montalbano and the background to her life and loves.
All the usual characters are there together with the beautiful Livia who usually gets the better of Montalbano.
The plot is well constructed with the usual red herrings and includes people smuggling and the current sad refugee problems before the final solving of the case by Montalbano and his team including the help of the victim’s feisty cat.
I recommend anyone who enjoys a good plot and characters to obtain this book.

Judith Barton

Despite never having read an Inspector Montalbano story or watched the television series, I found this an easy, unchallenging read. The mystery of murdered seamstress was set in Sicily and, unlike many novels, was set against a topical background of migrants and intrigue and I really felt I was in Italy. The story was very gentle and believably full of police procedure, so this is not a novel for fans of more graphic crime. Rather, it gave a portrait of the character and lifestyle of an Italian police inspector, together with the frustrations of bureaucracy. As I don’t normally read crime fiction, I was expecting more twists and turns in the plot. Instead, the resolution was relatively straightforward and uncomplicated.

Karen Sutherland

This is my first experience of Inspector Montalbano but am sure it won’t be my last. This was an easy, enjoyable read and I was able to visualise the characters and settings from the descriptions given. The plot line was fairly easy to follow and I liked the inclusion of the up to date problem there is world wide with so many dislocated people who are desperate to find a new beginning.
Throughout the story, I’m afraid I found the conversations with Catarella a little off-putting! For instance, page 100 when he says “Stop ver peetie’s sake! Don’ get onnna boat, fer peetie’s sake!” It makes him sound (to my mind) like an American gangster in a film from the 1940s!
The clues are all there for you to follow. I liked the descriptions of materials in the shop and particularly the ripped piece of fabric. You instinctively knew that it was of some importance even if why, took some time to work out. All in all, a pleasant light holiday read.

Sarah Parrin

Inspector Montalbano is under a great deal of pressure to land and process migrants that come to Italy with the small team he has working around the clock. When a murder happens he is forced to turn his attention to investigating this while still keeping an eye on the migrant situation. The dressmaker who is murdered seems to have no enemies so the inspector has to dig deep.
The descriptions of the migrants coming and what it meant to the small police force were eye opening, it felt like you could feel the exhaustion of the officers concerned. I found the relationship between Montalbano and Livia (his girlfriend) very strange, she seemed rather controlling and there didn't feel like there was a connection on his part, I expected more than was given with their relationship.
I found the scene of the raped girl particularly sad and no doubt this happens all too frequently, I think it was brave to tackle this subject.
The twists and turns the investigation took into the murder of Elena kept me guessing almost to the end and the story of what actually happened, this was written well and imaginative as well as believable.
I found Catarella's form of speech a little frustrating but I soon found myself warming to his character, although I couldn't take to the character Mimi.
Overall I would say this book was 'easy reading' it didn't take much concentration and the story was fairly light in detail which made it very easy to read in a couple of sittings. Great for a relaxing getaway.