Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Other End of the Line

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Other End of the Line (2016/2019) Andrea Camilleri translated by Stephen Sartarelli

The Other End of the LineThe 24th Inspector Montalbano book finds the Vigata police helping to deal with the influx of immigrants landing on their shores, and it’s a problem for everyone.

“Why did you summon Catarella for port duty last night?”

“I had to replace someone who called in sick.”

“Try not to do it again.”


“The rest of us are used to that sort of thing. We’ve been forced to grow thicker skin. But Catarella’s like a little kid, and he can’t really fathom what’s happening. And maybe he’s right.”

The first part of the book is spent seeing them struggle with the immigrant crisis. Camilleri pulls no punches about how he feels about this.

What was drowning in the sea was not only all those poor victims, but the better part of mankind.

The murder doesn’t happen until a third of the way through the book, and it’s rather surprising when it does happen. But to be honest, at this point I’m not reading the Montalbano stories for the mysteries, but for the characters and the setting and the food.

Which is good because the forensics here are not so great. Montalbano wanders all around the scene of the murder, sitting on chairs and doing other Montalbano like things. But we’ll just assume that this story was set further in the past, when he could get away with things like that.

There’s an utterly delightful scene where Montalbano uses a GPS for the first time, which I found hilarious.

He took the GPS and set it up on the dashboard.

“Go straight until you reach the roundabout,” said the gizmo. He had to admit it, the woman’s voice was pleasant. And that wasn’t all. She was also extremely precise in her instructions, to the point that more than once Montalbano found himself saying:

“Thank you, Esther.”

As I noted before, I’m not really reading these books for the mysteries at this point, but so that I can enjoy Montalbano and Fazio and Cat, who I will miss terribly after the last Montalbano book is translated and published.

Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, Mystery, Police, Translated     Comments (0)    

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