Third time lucky for Victor Gallo?

Mark Camilleri’s inspector returns in a third instalment – Nex

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
13 July 2016, 7:56am
A murder. A gruesome murder; the killers are nameless, the crime a mystery. An investigation. A thorough investigation; the investigator is tenacious, his manner ruthless. 

They are the key elements for any gripping detective story, and yet, in Malta thrillers of this sort are not very common. Save for some old 1950s, out of print detective thrillers, the Maltese market was very wanting of the genre. 

Until, that is, author Mark Camilleri came along with his fictitious Inspector Victor Gallo. Camilleri, a young contemporary writer from Mosta, first introduced us to Gallo in Prima Facie, published in 2010. The book’s success was mirrored in a television series which aired to high ratings, for a whole season on One TV. 

Gallo’s vocation for unearthing the truth continued in Camilleri’s 2013 book, Volens. Nex, recently published by Merlin Publishers is the third installment in the Gallo series. 

It opens with a summer scene set in Valletta. It’s 2003 and preparations are underway for the EU accession referendum, when suddenly a popular journalist vanishes in thin air and is never seen again. 

Fast forward twelve years later to 2015, and Camilleri takes us through a brutal homicide and a rather macabre discovery – which brings to the spotlight the case of the journalist once more. 

Inspector Victor Gallo, Head of the Anti-Homicide section, finds himself in the midst of a whirlwind of violent acts, sifting through a labyrinth of at times contradictory evidence, witnesses and murky memories. Gallo wants to get to the truth – but not everyone is keen on that. As the book unfolds the reader realizes how the facts are far more terrifying than Gallo and his colleagues can ever imagine. 

One of the appealing characteristics of Camilleri’s book is their firm geographical entrenchment: the characters meander through towns and villages in Malta, through streets and roads that readers immediately identify with, and stopping at popular drinking holes, bars and restaurants; making the read a more authentic one.

Nex is available for sale from all bookshops or directly online from www.merlinpublishers.com

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...