Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia (M Sciascia)

A man is shot dead in broad daylight while boarding a crowded bus on a busy street. Almost anywhere else in the world it might be an easily investigated crime, but this is Leonardo Sciascia’s Sicily. All the pedestrian witnesses seem to vanish, the passengers on the bus quickly melt into the crowd, the bus driver claims no one was on board, even the street vendor who was mere feet from the murder claims not to have heard gunshots.

The case eventually falls to Captain Bellodi, an outsider from mainland Italy. Backstabbing mafiosos, fascist reactionaries, communist agitators, and corrupt politicians all form a seemingly impenetrable knot around this simple murder. Yet, while all around him seems chaos, Bellodi pursues the case with relentless logic.

Sciascia explores the contrast between Bellodi’s unswerving sense of justice and the labyrinthine code of the Sicilian criminal underworld with a concision and depth that make this a step above most police procedurals.  The Day of the Owl might even be my favorite single book in the genre. At 120 pages it’s a quick read, well paced and well plotted.  This Italian import should be an interesting contrast for anyone whose gotten caught up in the recent wave of Scandinavian police procedurals.

Review by Matthew

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on September 18, 2012 by in Book Review, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense.
%d bloggers like this: