Andrea Camilleri’s The Fourth Secret is an Inspector Montalbano novella.
Montalbano receives a letter. Someone has killed several construction workers making the murders look like accidents.
Montalbano investigates, allies himself with a kindred spirit, Maresciallo Verrusso, a member of the carabinieri.
Ordinarily, in the competitive world of Sicilian police agencies, the two men would be at odds, maybe even enemies. But because of Verrusso’s particular situation, this time is different.
Verrusso could be one of Montalbano’s long-term allies if Verusso’s personal situation didn’t make that impossible.
The two men solve the crimes which have their roots in high places.
The Fourth Secret has all the usual things which make me love the Montalbano stories. Montalbano is as impulsive as ever. He has wild dreams. He has to work closely with Catarella, one of the most interesting characters in these books.
Montalbano eats rich (and richly-described) meals. And Montalbano uses his intuition, along with police footwork, to solve the crime.
At one point, Montalbano admitted, “The only thing to do was give in to his instincts, letting them guide him, following their lead.”
And elsewhere he notes, “Sometimes in life you can’t be the one to finish things, but rather you have to disguise yourself, hide behind someone else. The important thing is that you reach your goal.”
I’ve said this before--Montalbano’s Sicilian personalty reminds me of my dad, the son of Siclian immigrants. Impulsiveness, emotionality, even enjoying good food, come with many Sicilians.
Gianluca Rizzo and Dominic Siracusa.translated this book into English.