Dream scenes in movies are generally embarrassments; in books they're merely obvious. But Camilleri, who often opens his novels with Montalbano waking in the morning, shows here that he knows how to write a dream. Montalbano's dreams here feel like dreams. It helps that the crime sets the story in motion is full of material ripe for dreams: a horse, a beach, sand (as in the stuff you get bogged down running in...slower...slower...sinking deeper).
So the dream can have something to do with the mystery Montalbano is trying to solve without being clunkingly obvious about it.
"He got into bed and started reading one of the Swedish books he had bought. Its protagonist was a colleague of his, Inspector Martin Beck, whose manner of investigation he found very appealing. When he had finished the novel and turned out the light, it was four o'clock in the morning."Readers for whom the running gag of Montalbano's inability to finish reading a Simenon novel in The Smell of the Night will find that especially noteworthy. I find it touching, and it's hard to imagine a warmer author-to-author tribute.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010