Not a Review: THE AGE OF DOUBT by Andrea Camilleri

In the opening pages of THE AGE OF DOUBT its hero must consider his own mortality in a rather peculiar way. He dreams that he has died and not only is he prevented from investigating his own death but his long term girlfriend is probably not going to bother going to the funeral. The reflective, sleepless night that results from this puts Salvo Montalbano in a fairly cranky mood as he drives to work the next morning but he does not get far. There is a traffic jam that starts not far from his house and he soon discovers that the night’s storm has washed out the road. He then rescues a young woman whose car is teetering on the edge of the washed away portion of road and ends up spending the next few hours with her. She is planning to meet her Aunt who sails a yacht called the Vanna which is due into the town’s port as soon as the wild weather abates. However, when the yacht does finally berth it is carrying a dead body found floating in a dingy near the port and the young woman who has been waiting all day for disappears without a trace.

Like its predecessors THE AGE OF DOUBT offers a blend of mild mystery, droll observations, a gorgeous setting and an occasional surreal moment. And for that reason it’s difficult to think of something intelligent to say that I haven’t said in my reviews of four previous novels in the series. The few things I can think of relate to the little hidden gems that I wouldn’t want to spoil for other readers.

So all I will say is that it is an enjoyable outing though, for me, not the best of the series as a good deal of it is taken up with Montalbano’s infatuation with a Lieutenant who works at the Port. Although it is very realistic that the older he gets the younger Montalbano’s love interests seem to be I’m not particularly enamoured of reading about this particular behaviour trait. But even so the book still has many delightful moments (plus a more melodramatic ending than is normally the case) and fans of the series won’t want to miss it.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I have also reviewed August Heat, The Wings of the SphinxThe Track of Sand and The Potter’s Field

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
My rating 3/5
Translator Stephen Sartarelli
Publisher Penguin [this translation 2012, original edition 2009]
Length 273 pages
Format paperback
Book Series #14 in the Inspector Montalbano series.
Source borrowed from the library

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4 Responses to Not a Review: THE AGE OF DOUBT by Andrea Camilleri

  1. westwoodrich says:

    It’s difficult to review ‘I’ve-found-a-formula-that-works-so-I’m-sticking-to-it’s authors. I had a similar experience with a recent read. I don’t blame the authors for not rocking the gravy train – it is their livelihood, after all.


  2. Kathy D. says:

    I always enjoy the ride with Salvo Montalbano, even if it’s perhaps not with the most exciting plot. It’s still a virtual vacation in Sicily for me. This book wasn’t quite as good as its predecessor The Pottery’s Field, which was a gem, winning the CWA Dagger award. However, I had a good time, was riveted and distracted for several hours.
    Even though the author, Andrea Camilleri, is now in his mid-eighties, he is still churning out the series, and we have many more of Montalbano’s adventures to enjoy.
    What’s up with his middle-age crisis? I don’t know, but poor Livia is being ignored, as Montalbano lives out his fantasies. Perhaps this is all a result of his shock at aging and realizing his own mortality.
    Anyway, I’ll be along for the ride and assume I’ll keep enjoying these books, which are gems.


  3. Maxine says:

    Haven’t read your review in detail yet as this one is not quite out in the UK so have not yet read the book….I thought the last one, The Potter’s Field, was very good compared to the previous two or three, so it is a pity that this one hasn’t kept up the standard. But these books are usually good for passing a pleasant hour or two if nothing else.


  4. Bernadette – I’m glad you enjoyed this one even if you didn’t find it electrifying and mesmerising. I really enjoy this series so if you argue that Camilleri has a formula, well it works for me. Some of them are outstanding, and some less memorable but at least for my taste anyway I haven’t read any that I regretted reading. And that’s saying something for an author who’s been writing this series for some time.


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