Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri
The opening scenes are already funny. One involves a fly waking Inspector Salvo Montalbano. The other scene causes him to be late for work. He attempts to break up a fight, and all three men, including Montalbano, are arrested by the Carabinieri. Once he's at work, he learns of the strange kidnapping of a woman. She was abducted, drugged, and released unharmed the next morning. When that happens a second time, with another woman, it doesn't take much for Montalbano to catch the similarities. Both kidnap victims are in their thirties and work at banks. When a third kidnapping turns violent, bankers start to worry.
Police don't work in a vacuum, with just one case at a time. Montalbano and his team are also investigating a case of arson. The owner of the burnt out shop, Marcello Di Carlo, has disappeared. Montalbano is shrewd enough to find a connection between Di Carlo's disappearance and the unusual kidnappings.
The Overnight Kidnapper is an atmospheric mystery. It's filled with descriptions of Sicilian politics, customs, and food. Readers will appreciate Inspector Montalbano's team and his sly ability to maneuver his superiors. If you're looking for a humorous police procedural series, check out Andrea Camilleri's books.
The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri. Translation by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin Books, 2019. ISBN 9780143131137 (paperback), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.