In his new book Nex, Mark Camilleri keeps the reader on their toes as he weaves a couple of mystery murders together, and then unravels them to a rather ghastly, unexpected ending.
The beginning of the story takes us back to 2003, when journalist Neil Degiorgio goes missing, leaving behind no trace or witnesses to tell the tale. Twelve years later, following a brutal murder conducted in broad daylight, coupled with a macabre finding, the case is reopened.
Nex is the third book by Camilleri in a series following Inspector Gallo’s cases, the first two being Prima Facie, which has been turned into a TV series, and Volens. Inspector Gallo is the head of the crime investigation team in all three novels.
Nex is a stand-alone novel which sees a mix of some of the previous characters mixed in with new ones. Readers who have read (or watched, in this case) either of the previous books may be familiar with a couple of the characters, but it’s not necessary to read either of the previous books to get totally immersed in Nex.
Camilleri’s writing is only brusque when it needs to be, pertaining to the character in question. The story flows easily and is quick to make you feel involved enough to want to get to the bottom of it.
Gallo is a character heavily laden with psychological problems that he reveals at different points throughout the novel, although we may gather his situation long before it is made obvious to us.
The seemingly hot mess that is his personal life doesn’t stop him from working long and hard on his cases, punctuated by a similarly colourful sex life and interesting taste in music, which make him tangible to the reader.
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