On any good treasure map, X always marks the spot, whether it be a kids game or in a pirate book. The Treasure Hunt in Andrea Camilleri’s book, is not a good hunt. Not only is there no X to mark the spot, but the “treasure” is gruesome.
Title: Treasure Hunt (Inspector Montalbano #16)
Author: Andrea Camilleri
Translated by: Stephen Sartarelli
Read by: Grover Gardner
Audio published: September 24, 2013 by Blackstone Audio (first published 2010)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A hail of bullets interrupts a period of dead calm. An elderly brother and sister open fire on the piazza below their apartment, punishing the people of Vigàta for their sins. Montalbano is hailed as a hero when news cameras film him scaling a building — gun in hand — to capture the ancient pair of unlikely snipers.
Shortly after, the inspector begins to receive cryptic messages in verse from someone challenging him to go on a “treasure hunt.” Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles — until they take a dangerous turn.
The opening of the book was strong, with the two elderly siblings opening fire, but I was little disappointed in the whole treasure hunt set up that followed. It just seems a little hokey. A slightly crazy guy sets up this “treasure hunt” as a kind of duel between him and Montalbano. It just seemed a little easy as a plot, if that makes sense. We’ll give Montalbano little poem clues to follow and watch as he figures it out. The bad guy was a little too obvious too. It’s a dark mystery, but humorous at times too.
Putting that bit aside, I liked Montalbano this time around. Montalbano’s feeling his age, but he doesn’t dwell on it overly much. He has his usual woman troubles, but they take a back seat to the story, even though I don’t know why his girlfriend stays with him. Gardner does a good job as narrator here. he sounds like Montalbano, clever, sarcastic, amusing. When I listened to The Potter’s Field (same author and same reader), I had trouble keeping all the characters straight, but this time around either I know them better and recognize the differences in tone and vocabulary or Gardner was better at distinguishing them, because I didn’t have any difficulty. Or maybe I’m getting better at listening.
As a mystery, it was barely okay, but I enjoyed the characters. They’re characters I already knew though. Montalbano is not a fun man. He’s brooding and distant, a bit melancholy, I don’t know that I would like him if this is the first time I met him. I don’t think this is worth picking up if you’re not a Montalbano fan, but I’m glad I listened to it.
Inspector Montalbano series
- The Shape of Water (Italian: La forma dell’acqua)
- The Terra-Cotta Dog (Italian: Il cane di terracotta)
- The Snack Thief (Italian: Il ladro di merendine)
- Voice of the Violin (Italian: La voce del violino)
- The Excursion to Tindari (Italian: La gita a Tindari )
- The Smell of the Night (APA: The Scent of the Night) (Italian: L’odore della notte)
- Rounding the Mark (Italian: Il giro di boa )
- The Patience of the Spider (Italian: La pazienza del ragno)
- The Paper Moon (Italian: La luna di carta)
- August Heat (Italian: La vampa d’agosto)
- The Wings of the Sphinx (Italian: Le ali della sfinge)
- The Track of Sand (Italian: La pista di sabbia )
- The Potter’s Field (Italian: Il campo del vasaio)
- The Age of Doubt (Italian: L’età del dubbio)
- The Dance of the Seagull (Italian: La danza del gabbiano)
- The Treasure Hunt (Italian: La caccia al tesoro)
- Angelica’s Smile (Italian: Il sorriso di Angelica)
- The Game of Mirrors (Italian: Il gioco degli specchi)
- A Blade of Light (Italian: Una lama di luce)