Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Sect of Angels

The Sect of Angels is a novella by Andrea Camilleri, who is well known as the author of the Montalbano mysteries. Released 30th April 2019 by Europa Editions, it's 176 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

Prolific and engaging, Camilleri's books are readable and always enjoyable. I have been following his work for years. I found this story, based on true events from 1901 in a rural town in Sicily, a lot heavier going than the Inspector Montalbano books which are lighthearted and fun.

The central themes of duplicity and exploitation of the weak and naive by people in power (religious and political leaders) has too many parallels in today's world to make for entirely comfortable reading. The author's deft hand with plotting and dialogue are masterful as always. Camilleri's a very adept judge of human character and the responses of the villains of the piece to having their sordid acts exposed are all too believable; they band together and drive the would-be whistleblower to exile under threat of death.

This is a standalone book and as all of Camilleri's oeuvre, most excellently written. The themes of sexual abuse, patriarchal rigidity, sexism, and rampant machismo make the book an all-too-believable tragedy.

Four stars. Difficult themes.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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