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The Dance of the Seagull

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri

A seagull fills Montalbano with a sense of  foreboding at the start of compelling story
A seagull fills Montalbano with a sense of 
foreboding at the start of compelling story
Inspector Montalbano is left with a strange sense of foreboding when he sees a seagull die on the beach in front of the terrace of his villa, after the bird had performed a strange spinning motion with one wing open, inscribing a circle.

Afterwards he goes to the airport to meet his girlfriend, Livia, who has flown to Sicily from her home town of Genoa to spend some quiet time with him. Montalbano has booked some leave from work so that they can visit some of the island’s Baroque cities that Livia has never seen.

He leaves Livia at his home to go into the police station to finish off some routine work before starting his holiday. While he is in his office, the wife of Fazio, one of his officers, comes in to see him to say she is worried about her husband, who is missing and hasn’t contacted her as he usually does when he has to work all night.

The circumstances are worrying and Montalbano feels he has to look into it straight away. He visits the port with his deputy, Mimi Augello, because the night before, Fazio had told his wife he was going there to meet Montalbano.

A customs officer tells them that the previous night he heard shots while on duty.  Montalbano thinks Fazio may have gone to investigate something at the port on his own and he becomes worried. He is very fond of Fazio and therefore the Inspector becomes totally focused on the investigation, realising that the longer Fazio is missing, the more chance there is that he is dead.

The Dance of the Seagull is the  15th Montalbano mystery
The Dance of the Seagull is the 
15th Montalbano mystery
A tip off from a criminal, who says he has seen a badly injured Fazio with two other men in a remote area of the island, leads them to investigate a place where there are dry wells, into which the Mafia sometimes throw the bodies of their victims. Montalbano deploys firemen to search the wells and they find the bodies of two men, but neither of them is Fazio.

Montalbano has a chilling feeling the Mafia are involved in Fazio’s disappearance and becomes desperate to find the injured officer alive before it is too late. He works night and day on the investigation, hardly stopping to eat or rest.

He looks into everyone who has tried to contact Fazio through the police switchboard recently and finally begins to piece things together.

But then his troubles really begin, when he realises that he has left Livia waiting alone at his villa to start their holiday together…

The Dance of the Seagull is a compelling story with an intriguing crime at the heart of it that Montalbano must solve in order to find Fazio before it is too late.

As always, the novel provides fascinating insights into life in Sicily and moments that make the reader want to laugh out loud, despite the unrelenting suspense.

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(Picture credit: Seagull by Edgar Gonzalez from Pixabay)

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