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The Terra-Cotta Dog: The Inspector Montalbano Series #2

About the Book

The Terra-Cotta Dog: The Inspector Montalbano Series #2

From the very first pages of The Terra-Cotta Dog, the second Inspector Montalbano mystery from the pen of Andrea Camilleri, the detective's world seems to have been turned upside down. First comes a secret face-to-face meeting with a dreaded Mafioso who wants nothing more than to have himself arrested. Then there is the matter of the unknown thieves who clean out Carmelo Ingrassia's supermarket, only to leave all the stolen merchandise in a tractor trailer behind a nearby filling station. Just as life is starting to make sense again, an eighty-year-old Fascist who prides himself on his slow driving dies behind the wheel in a high-speed crash, only hours before a scheduled meeting with the inspector. Strange as the inspector's own times may seem, however, the most intriguing and poignant mystery is yet to unfold, and it comes not from the present, but from the past. While retrieving a cache of smuggled weapons, the inspector happens upon a pair of desicated corpses in a long-forgotten cave, entwined in a lovers' embrace beneath the unblinking eyes of a terra-cotta dog.

As other events lead him toward mortal danger, Montalbano finds himself obsessively drawn to unearth the story of the two dead lovers. Not only must he learn what happened to them, but he must also confront the reasons why he finds their secret so absorbing. Is his interest, as the police commissioner suggests, merely a form of "mental masturbation"? Does he see some fleeting image of his own identity in the mysterious remains? Or is it that, in a world of corruption, violence, and deceit, he hopes to find some tattered remnant of purity and decency in the voiceless past? In this masterly novel, in which all explanations seem possible yet so much seems inexorably fated, Inspector Montalbano is less concerned with determining whodunit than with seeking rest for departed spirits and finding solace for his own.

The Terra-Cotta Dog: The Inspector Montalbano Series #2
by Andrea Camilleri

  • Publication Date: March 25, 2003
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • ISBN-10: 0142002631
  • ISBN-13: 9780142002636