Saturday, January 20, 2007


Rounding The Mark begins with Salvo Montalbano about to resign over the treatment of protesters at the G8 meeting in Genoa, July 2001.

But before he can see the Commissioner he goes swimming, and as luck would have it he meets a floating deadbody, which he tows ashore. This incident ends with the Inspector naked on the beach and having his head cracked with an iron bar.

This is only the start of his troubles as next a group of illegal immigrants are being escorted off a boat at the dockside, while Montalbano is delivering spare spectacles to Deputy Commissioner Riguccio. A little black African boy runs away but Montalbano retrieves him, and returns him to his mother.

Montalbano is very disturbed by the way the boy raises his hands in a gesture of surrender similar to the scene in the old wartime photo in Poland of a little Jewish boy raising his arms in front of Nazi soldiers. He is even more disturbed the next day when the boy is found dead, the victim of a hit and run driver.

As Favio and Catarella try to discover the identity of the dead swimmer, Montalbano investigates the boy's death and realises the terrible truth about the illegal traffic in immigrant children.
The two investigations begin to converge, and Camilleri does not pull his punches in his criticisms of the disgusting criminals, who perpetuate a modern slave trade. Once agin Montalbano has to enrol the driving skills of Swedish beauty Ingrid, the reliabilty of Favio, the simple intuition of Catarella and some tough methods of his own to bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion.
"Government may as well send quaker meeting-houses to float this sea....." William Eaton, US consul to Tunis
Octopus a strascinasali: consists of small octopi (polipetti in Italian, purpiteddi or frajeddi in Sicilian) simply boiled in salted water, then dressed in olive oil, and lemon juice.


Blogger Karen (Euro Crime) said...

My next Camilleri fix is 'in transit' to me at the library - it's Scent/Smell of the Night. I've enjoyed the previous two books I've read by him and can't wait for it to arrive.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I have my copy of The Scent of the Night in front of me now all ready to start reading.
Sorry to make you jealous!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the Montalbano movies staring Luca Zingaretti? There's 4 of them being played in a Sunday night series here, with the second one last night. I missed last night's but the first one seemed really sympathetic with the book.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Hi Karen C where are you? Melbourne?
I would certainly hope that this series would come to England some time. We did have a French policier last year called Spiral, which was full of atmosphere and very Gallic.
With all the extra digital TV channel time to fill they could do a lot worse than put these European series on with subtitles.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops - Melbourne Australia (should have mentioned that, sorry for being so stupid!)

We also became welded on fans of the Danish Series Unit One - which the same TV channel showed out here last year.

It's SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) which is the Australia wide multicultural and multilingual public broadcaster. (Or as it's frequently referred to Sex Before Soccer (or derivations thereof).

5:53 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Karen C, Montalbano movies, Neighbours, Shane Warne and a decent cricket team, you are very lucky living in Melbourne.

If SBS [Special Broadcasting Service] is referred to as "Sex Before Soccer" then our BBC could be called "Bonking Before Cricket"?

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on the rural fringes outside Melbourne so that could explain why I've never seen an episode of Neighbours and despite a passionate love of cricket, don't quite regard Shane Warne with the same affection as others.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I have never watched Neighbours either but my 95 year old mother in law is a fan!
Warne has the personal failings of most modern sportspersons, caused by too much money and attention from the media. He will certainly not replace Don Bradman as the great Australian cricketer.

2:03 AM  

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