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    Review of THE SHAPE OF WATER byAndrea Camilleri (see his website)


    Penguin Books, 2002 (Italian original 1994)

    The body of a well known politician is found with his pants down, literally. But instead of a coverup, his lawyer suggests calling in the police. Police Inspector Montalbano is suspicious, but the autopsy says the death was natural--a heart attack. Still, Montalbano insists on keeping the case open, investigating what really happened. Because in Sicily, where the Mafia remains strong, the truth can be as malleable as water.

    Montalbano's investigations probe political corruption, sexual deviance, and Sicily's underworld, but the evidence seems clear. The only question is, who was the beautiful girl who abandoned the minister when he died.

    THE SHAPE OF WATER is the first in a really fine mystery series by author Andrea Camilleri (see more reviews of novels by Camilleri). In WATER, Montalbano is already a fully developed and intriguing character with a strong moral sense and an attractive disregard for the letter of the law. Hints of his passion for the taste and smells of Sicily come out although these are more fully developed in later books in the series.

    Camilleri's mystery is fully engaging and Montalbano is a great character. Although I didn't find THE SHAPE OF WATER quite as compelling as some of the later novels in the series, it is a highly enjoyable read.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 2/11/04

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