The Pyramid Of Mud by Andrea CamilleriThe Pyramid Of Mud by Andrea Camilleri

The Pyramid Of Mud

byAndrea CamilleriTranslated byStephen Sartarelli

Paperback | January 2, 2018

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“You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen...transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano.”
—A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Inspector Montalbano uncovers corruption and mafia ties in the world of construction and contracts

On a gloomy morning in Vigàta, a call from Fazio rouses Inspector Montalbano from a nightmare. A man called Giugiù Nicotra has been found dead in the skeletal workings of a construction site, a place now entombed by a sea of mud from recent days of rain and floods. Shot in the back, he had fled into a water supply system tunnel. The investigation gets off to a slow start, but all the evidence points to the world of construction and public contracts, a world just as slimy and impenetrable as mud.

As he wades through a world in which construction firms and public officials thrive, Montalbano is obsessed by one thought: that by going to die in the tunnel, Nicotra had been trying to communicate something.
Andrea Camilleri, a mega-bestseller in Italy and Germany, is the author of the New York Times bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, as well as historical novels that take place in nineteenth-century Sicily. His books have been made into Italian TV shows and translated into thirty-two languages. His thirteenth Montalbano nove...
Title:The Pyramid Of MudFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.8 × 5 × 0.7 inPublished:January 2, 2018Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143128086

ISBN - 13:9780143128083


Read from the Book

The thunderclap was so loud that not only did Montalbano suddenly wake up in terror, but he gave such a start that he nearly fell out of bed.For over a week it had been raining cats and dogs without a moment’s pause. The heavens had opened and seemed to have no intention of closing ever again.It was raining not only in Vigàta, but all over Italy. In the north the rivers were bursting their banks and doing incalculable damage, and in a few towns the inhabitants had to be evacuated. But it was no joke in the south, either. Rivers and streams that had been dry for years and given up for dead had come back to life with a vengeance and broken loose, ravaging homes and farmlands.The previous evening the inspector had heard a scientist on television say that all of Italy was in danger of suffering a gigantic geological disaster, because it had never had a government willing to undertake any serious maintenanc eof the land. In short, it was as if a homeowner had never taken the trouble to repair a leaky roof or some damaged foundations, and then was surprised and complained when his house collapsed one day on top of him.Maybe this is exactly what we deserve, Montalbano thought bitterly.He turned on the light and looked at his watch. Six-oh-five. Too early to get out of bed.He lay there with eyes closed, listening to the crashing of the sea. Whether calm or in a frenzy, the sound of it always gave him pleasure. Then it suddenly dawned on him that the rain had stopped. He got out of bed and opened the shutters.The thunderclap had been like the big boom that marks the end of a fireworks display. Indeed, there was no more water falling from the sky, and the clouds approaching from the east were light and fluffy and would soon chase away the black and heavy ones.He went back to bed, feeling relieved.It was not going to be a nasty day of the kind that always put him in a bad mood.Then he remembered the dream he’d been having when he was woken up.He was walking through a tunnel in complete darkness except for the oil lamp in his hand, which didn’t give off much light. He knew that a man was following one step behind him, someone he knew but whose name he couldn’t remember. Earlier the man had said:“I can’t keep up with you; I’m losing too much blood from my wound.”And he had replied:“We can’t go any slower than this; the tunnel could collapse at any moment.”A short while later, as the man’s breathing became more labored, he’d heard a cry and the thud of a body falling to the ground. So he’d turned around and gone back. The man was lying on the ground facedown, with the handle of a large kitchen knife sticking out between his shoulder blades. He was immediately certain the man was dead. At that moment a strong gust blew out his oil lamp and immediately the tunnel collapsed with an earthquakelike rumble.The dream was clearly a hodgepodge resulting from an excess of purpiteddri a strascinasale and a news item he’d heard on television about a hundred or so miners who’d died in amine in China.But the man with the knife in his back, where’d hecome from?Montalbano searched his memory, then decided that it was of no importance.Ever so gently, he drifted back to sleep.Then the telephone rang. He looked at the clock. He’d slept for barely ten minutes.Bad sign, if they were calling him at that hour of the morning.He got up and answered the phone.“Hello?”“Birtì?”“I’m not—”“Everything’s flooded, Birtì!”“Look, I—”“There was a hundred rounds of fresh cheese in the storeroom, Birtì! Now they’re under six and a half feet of water!”“Listen—”“To say nothing of the warehouse, Birtì.”“Jesus fucking Christ! Would you please listen to me for a second?” the inspector howled.“So you’re not—”“No, I’m not Birtì! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you for the last half hour! You’ve got the wrong number!”“So, if you’re not Birtino, then who is this?”“His twin brother!”He slammed down the receiver and went back to bed,c ursing the saints. An instant later the telephone started ringing again. He jumped out of bed, roaring like a lion, grabbed the receiver, and, yelling like a madman, said:“Fuck off , you, Birtino, and your hundred rounds of fresh cheese!”He hung up and unplugged the phone. He now felt so upset that the only solution was to take a nice long shower.As he was on his way to the bathroom, a strange little jingle could be heard coming from somewhere in the bedroom.And what could that be?Then he realized that it was the ringing of his cell phone, which he rarely used. He answered it.It was Fazio.“What is it?” he asked rudely.“Sorry, Chief, but I tried calling you on the land line,and some guy answered . . . I must have got the wrong number.”So it was Fazio he’d told to fuck off.“You really must’ve, because I’d unplugged the phone,” he lied in a confident, authoritative voice.“Of course. Well, the reason I’m disturbing you on your cell phone is there’s been a murder.”How could you go wrong?“Where?”“In the Pizzutello district.”Never heard of it.“Where’s that?”“It’s too complicated to explain, Chief. I’ve just sent Gallo with a car for you. And I’m on my way to Pizzutello. Oh, and put on some boots. Apparently the place is kind of a bog.”“Okay. See you in a bit.”He turned off the cell phone, plugged the land line back in, and managed to make it to the bathroom when he heard the phone ring. If it was the same guy looking for Birtino, he would get the address and then go and shoot the lot of them. Including the fresh cheese.“Chief, wha’, did I wake yiz?” Catarella asked apprehensively.“No, I’ve been awake for a bit. What is it?”“Chief, I wannit a tell yiz ’at Gallo’s squawk car woun’t start an’ ’ere warn’t no utter cars available inna lot o’ cars for availability in so much as they was unavailable ’cuz they was unmovable.”“What is that supposed to mean?”“’Ey’re broke.”“And so?”“An’ so Fazio ordained me to come an’ pick yiz up inmy car.”Yikes. Catarella wasn’t exactly an ace at the wheel. But there was no alternative.“But do you know where the murder victim is?”“Assolutely, Chief. An’, jess to be sure, I’m bringin’ along my talkin’ naviquator.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Andrea Camilleri and the Montalbano Series“The idiosyncratic Montalbano is totally endearing.”—The New York Times “Camilleri is as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.”—The Washington Post Book World“Hailing from the land of Umberto Eco and La Cosa Nostra, Montalbano can discuss a pointy-headed book like Western Attitudes Toward Death as unflinchingly as he can pore over crime-scene snuff photos. He throws together an extemporaneous lunch of shrimp with lemon and oil as gracefully as he dodges advances from attractive women.”—Los Angeles Times“[Camilleri’s mysteries] offer quirky characters, crisp dialogue, bright storytelling—and Salvo Montalbano, one of the most engaging protagonists in detective fiction…Montalbano is a delightful creation, an honest man on Siciliy’s mean streets.”—USA Today“Camilleri is as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.”—The Washington Post Book World“Like Mike Hammer or Sam Spade, Montalbano is the kind of guy who can’t stay out of trouble…Still, deftly and lovingly translated by Stephen Sartarelli, Camilleri makes it abundantly clear that under the gruff, sardonic exterior our inspector has a heart of gold, and that any outburst, fumbles, or threats are made only in the name of pursuing truth.”—The Nation“Camilleri can do a character’s whole backstory in half a paragraph.”—The New Yorker“Subtle, sardonic, and molto simpatico: Montalbano is the Latin re-creation of Philip Marlowe, working in a place that manages to be both more and less civilized than chandler’ Los Angeles.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)“The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humor, and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily."—Donna Leon