Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano Series #7)

Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano Series #7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143037484
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/25/2006
Series: Inspector Montalbano Series , #7
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 201,438
Product dimensions: 4.94(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, bestsellers in Italy and Germany, has been adapted for Italian television and translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli lives in upstate New York.

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Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano Series #7) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Continuing the Salvo Montalbano series in order, Rounding the Mark is number seven, leaving me six more to go. Five if you don't count the newest one, The Potter's Field, which won't get here until September.It's not a good night for Montalbano. He is unable to sleep, and even more telling, unable to eat. He's decided to turn in his resignation, feeling betrayed by the news about a raid on the Diaz School in Genoa during the G8 meetings there, in which evidence had been found to be planted, the stabbing of a policeman by an "antiglobalist" had been discovered to have been self inflicted, and that ultimately there was no legitimate reason that the raid needed to have taken place. As he often does when he's restless, he decides to take a naked swim in the ocean in the early morning hours. As he turns on his back and does a stroke, he bumps into something that turns out to be a foot. He apologizes to the unseen person, only to discover that it is really a corpse.Some days later, he goes to deliver a pair of glasses to a cop friend at the scene of the landing of illegal immigrants, when a little boy runs off the boat and away from everyone. Montalbano goes after him, captures him and delivers him to his mother. But he can't help but notice that the boy looks petrified and is highly agitated. After some time, the boy's body is later discovered -- someone has hit him with a car and killed him. Wondering if perhaps his own actions were linked to the boy's death, he begins investigating and will not let up until he finds out the truth.Despite Montalbano's disgust at his government, the corrupt policemen and his ongoing battle with what he feels might be old age creeping up on him, there are some really funny episodes that made me laugh out loud. First, Salvo's naked "rescue" of the corpse is caught on television. Then there's an ongoing gag about a cop named Torretta, who seems to have opened an "emporium" in the station, always ready with anything that anyone could possibly need. Catarella's mangling of Italian leads Montalbano to a vital clue through someone Catarella insists is named Pontius Pilate. But there is nothing funny at all about the way Camilleri depicts an ongoing and growing problem in Italy, one that is shared by many countries around the world.Here we find Montalbano at his most intense so far, and although the overall mystery wasn't as satisfying as it might have been, it was still quite good; it is yet another excellent entry in the series. Camilleri's regular characters are so well developed and well portrayed that I feel like I know these people well by this point, yet I'm always surprised by the twists and turns in Montalbano's life. Even though at times these books become formulaic and often rely on odd coincidences, and although these traits are not ones I particularly care for in any mystery or crime fiction novel, Camilleri's writing keeps me reading. It's easy to overlook the flaws because I'm having such a great time reading.
Joycepa on LibraryThing 4 days ago
7th in the Inspector Montalbano series.Just after the G8 meeting in Genoa, where the right-wing government of Berlusconi has at a minimum countenanced unprovoked and unjustified attacks by police on protesters, Montalbanois filled with disgust at what Italy has become in general and how the Genoan police have betrayed their mandate to serve and protect the people in particular. He is not sure whether or not he wants to continue in his profession; he seriously considers resigning.In the midst of this angst, taking his usual swim, he accidentally and literally bumps into a corpse. (This scene deserves mention in that it is absolutely hilarious, a wonderful example of Camilleri¿s wit and sense of the ridiculous that so enlivens these books.) Examination of the body reveals that while the man died by drowning, he definitely had help in his passing. In a separate and seemingly unrelated incident, a boat filled with illegal immigrants from Africa is rounded up by the Italian Coast Guard and herded into Vigáta. A young boy escapes, runs down the dock, eluding pursuers, and hides. Montalbano, thinking that the boy is frightened and wanting to restore him to his mother, manages to quietly talk the boy into coming out of hiding and returning with him. But shortly after, the boy is killed in on the road in what is clearly not an accident. Much disturbed, Montalbano tries to solve the case of the murdered man on the one hand, and continues to puzzle over and mourn the death of the young boy on the other.This is the context for what is one of the best installments in this utterly superb series set in Sicily. All of Camilleri¿s great strengths are here: taut writing, authenticity, excellent dialogue lovingly preserved by Sartarelli¿s translation, and both recurring and non-recurring sets of very strong, believable characters. In addition, this is one of Camilleri¿s more disturbing plots, addressing as it does the trafficking in illegal aliens, especially young children, for utterly cold-blooded purposes. Camilleri knows how to drive a plot, and this book is no exception, racing along to a highly dramatic denouement.Highly recommended.
richardderus on LibraryThing 4 days ago
The Book Report: Montalbano, over fifty and not liking it One Little Bit, decides to take an early-morning, out-of-season swim...and runs smack-dab into a dead guy who's clearly been in the water for a long time. He improvises a tow rope out of his swimsuit for the poor bastard, and begins a long, tiring naked swim in the cold water to bring him to shore. He's exhausted and feeling very lightheaded after his exertions and collapses on the sand...where he is attacked and vilified by a crazy old couple from the North who're renting a neighbor's house, photographed au naturel by the paparazzi they've summoned, and generally made a figure of fun...fifty yards from his own home. Thus begins Montalbano's misadventure into the seamiest-yet part of Sicily's underbelly. The dead guy proves to be a murder victim, identified in an extremely surprising way by an extremely unexpected source; Montalbano's interference into an illegal-immigrant bust results in the death of a young child; and in the end, both are revealed to be major pieces in a puzzle that bedevils Italy, with its immense amounts of coastline and huge population of coastal islands, most among European nations: How can you prevent a flood-tide of economic migrants from sheltering the vilest, most despicable members of our species from profiting off the misery of their masses? True to life itself, the question is posed, the answer left unknown. But Montalbano, now, he solves his piece of the puzzle, and a few...not many, just a few...of the scumbags meet a just end.My Review: Well, in the sixth book of the series, there is a bit of sagging to report: A few promising threads are left dangling here, especially the whole North-vs-South cultural divide so present in every facet of Italian life. Camilleri fails to exploit some delightful possibilities, and I think that it's inevitable to do so in a long-for-him book crammed with major plot points and huge moral questions. Part of the charm of these books is their conciseness: seldom over 230pp in translation, they are models of taut storytelling. Then along comes a story like this one, replete with opportunities to explore Italy and Italianness, and it's too much for the format of the series. It's unwise to change formats mid-series, so some things will fall off the radar a little too quickly.Well, you still give the book four stars...what's that about, fanboy? asks a sarcastic member of the public. Not just about being a fanboy, though I admit that I am just that. It's about the layers of well-executed prose, conveying piece by piece the existence of and resolution to a problem previously hidden, in concert with a storyteller's greatest gift or lack: The ability to create, in a few deft verbal strokes, a sense of a character as a real person. The ability to evoke in the reader a new response to an old situation. The ability to bring a place to life using nothing more than a few lighting effects and your own sense of smell.These qualities, mes vieux, are amply on display in this book and deployed in service of a story that, even though it's resolved, isn't in any way over. And that should keep you awake nights.
cathyskye on LibraryThing 4 days ago
First Line: Stinking, treacherous night.Salvo Montalbano is going through a rough patch at work. He wants to quit, even though he loves his job. One night he can't sleep and since he lives right on the beach, he goes for a swim. Unfortunately he bumps into a dead body while he's out there and has to haul it back to shore. In his quest for the cause of death, Montalbano realizes that this death coincides with the hit-and-run death of a young boy who may have been victimized by human traffickers. When Montalbano realizes that he may have inadvertently helped the boy's abusers, he is sickened and even more determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.This (and the entire series) is far from a run-of-the-mill police procedural. There aren't many authors like Camilleri who can turn a creepy scene like finding a badly decomposed body at sea into a scene that can make a reader laugh out loud. (I refuse to tell you how. That should be part of your fun.)The ingredients that make this series so special are Camilleri's gallows humor and his cast of characters-- Montalbano's "soldiers". They are a wonderful bunch of very different personalities, and even though they may drive each other to distraction on a regular basis, I don't think they'd want to work with anyone else-- especially when they have a boss who allows them to tell him when he's being the southbound end of a northbound horse.The characterizations are brilliant; there is such a sense of Sicily as you read; the humor is often laugh-out-loud funny; and there are the unexpected jewels. Rounding the Mark had one of those gems: the grouchy Montalbano being genuinely heartbroken at being an unknowing accomplice in that young boy's death can bring a tear to the eye.In roughly 250 pages, Camilleri can deliver a masterful piece of work that many other authors would take 400 pages to accomplish. Each book is a gem, and I intend to savor every single one.For any of you who may be hesitant to read a translated book, don't be. Sartarelli has won awards for his translations, and those awards are deserved. He manages to imply dialects in a way that isn't confusing, and for anyone who needs a little extra information, the back of each book contains a few pages of notes that deal with any historical references, language, food, and previous books in the series.If at all possible, this is one mystery series that you should sample. If I had four thumbs, they'd all be pointing at the sky. (I'm sure Camilleri would have something pithy to say about that....)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago