Inspector Alvarez is in a good mood, for once. The sun is shining, he has enjoyed an uniterrupted morning nap at his desk, his irasciable boss - Superios Chief Salas - is on holiday, and the local Mallorquin government's proposal to increase tax on alcohol has been soundly defeated. But optimism, he soon has cause to reflect, is the road to disaster. In short order, he provokes the ire of Salas' secretary and then of Salas himself - whose holiday does not seem to exclude phoning Alvarez to complain about his work. In no time at all, Alxvarez is mired down by a seemingly impossible task - identifying a man drowned in the bay, who it quickly trasnpires may not have been drowned at all.
©2012 Roderic Jeffries (P)2012 Soundings
Long-time followers of Inspector Alvarez will need little encouragement to lounge back and settle in for a wonderful evocation of life on Mallorca. The story this time evolves from the strange appearance of a body at sea, soon to be discovered to be the victim of poisoning. A connection is found with the natural death of a wealthy man, and the inspector is soon engaged in a delicate and very Mallorcan investigation of the household. As always, his superior boss, Salas, displays little confidence or respect for the inspector's methods, and Alvarez reciprocates the feelings for him. There is seldom if ever a mutual understanding or agreement on the findings of evidence or the methods used to obtain them. Alvarez seeks not only truth but justice for those touched by the tragedy of events, and his unorthodoxy on this occasion is both risky to his career and, potentially, to those he seeks to protect. While this drama plays out, we are treated to the inevitable but wonderful humour of the inspector's home life .... and once again I was reduced near to tears with laughter. If you listen to (or read) this book in company, be prepared for some funny looks or demands for explanation :). The inspector gets his way, and the reader rejoices with him.
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