I have finished the 131st book for the book challenge. It was The Potter’s Field (An Inspector Montalbano Mystery) Andrea Camilleri.
Inspector Montalbano is called to a clay field to find a dismembered and disfigured body in a garbage bag. He believes it is a Mafia hit because the face is disfigured, the fingertips are cut away and the teeth have been removed. Also the body has been cut into 30 piece, signifying a traitor. But the man’s bridgework has been found lodged in his throat. They have traced it to a dentist in South America.
A woman is seen walking disoriented in the night on the road. She is given a ride to town, but the person feels she is in danger and comes to the police. The police don’t know what to do. But the woman then walks into the police station and tells Montalbano that her husband is missing. Her name is Dolores Alfano and her husband is Giovanni Alfano. He works on a ship and has been sending her postcards but the last card was not in his handwriting. Montalbano makes some phone calls to the ship’s owners and finds Alfano did not get on the ship. He questions Mrs. Alfano about what she and her husband did the night before he was to board the ship.
Meanwhile, Mimi Augello is acting difficult and wants control over the case of the man in the garbage bag. He is pestering Montalbano for the case. Montalbano believes Mimi is having an affair with Dolores and Dolores wants him to have the case. Montalbano believes that Dolores had Alfano killed to make it look like Don Balducci Signagura killed him, so that Dolores could be with her lover Pecorini the butcher. Pecorini really killed Alfano. But Montalbano just needs to prove that this is so.
Montalbano sets out to prove his theory. He finally finds a syringe with blood from the victim in a wastebasket in the room that he rented and confronts Dolores with this evidence. She confesses. Dolores was Mimi’s mistress, too. Mimi is shocked. Mimi is given credit for breaking the case. He goes on vacation with his family, swearing not to get involved with any more women. Montalbano also goes to visit Livia, a well earned rest.
This was a complex crime that Montalbano had to solve. It really looked like a Mafia killing of a traitor and only by chance did Montalbano solve the real mystery. This was a really good story and I liked how the author wove the pieces together. Dolores is finally caught due to her sloppiness. I enjoyed this book.