Death in Malta, a novel by Rosanne Dingli, is a delightful read. It is part mystery, part sweet love story, and totally absorbing.
At the beginning of Death in Malta, Australian author Gregory Worthington sets up house in a previously-neglected farmhouse on Malta. The reader learns that the author’s writing career has stalled. His marriage has failed.
He is soon drawn into the life of the small village, as much as an ex-patriot can become involved in a close-knit community. He discovers a story about the mysterious disappearance of a child. He uncovers a feud between the priest and a doctor who has also made his home in the village. The disappearance of the boy gives impetus to Gregory’s writing.
The plot is multi-layered. Rosanne Dingli manages to meld a number of sub-plots, These include the protagonist’s curiosity about the disappearance of the child and a developing love affair. There are also glimpses of his relationship with his estranged wife. Phone conversations with his daughter in Melbourne add another dimension.
Death in Malta demonstrates Rosanne Dingli’s considerable skills as a writer. The story-lines are strong and so is the language. But perhaps Rosanne’s major strength is in her ability to bring her characters alive on the page. Even minor characters take on a life of their own. I cared about them, and wanted to know what happened to them.
Mediterranean countries and culture fascinate me, but I have never been to Malta. A few days after I finished Death in Malta I saw several totally unrelated news items on ABC television. They included wide and close shots of island scenes, Thanks to Rosanne Dingli’s extraordinary skill at scene-setting, I felt as if I’d been there. Malta is now on my list of go-to countries.
I thoroughly enjoyed Death in Malta. It would make an interesting book club choice.
Death in Malta is available as an e-book on Amazon, and as a paperback from the Book Depository.
This review is part of my response to the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you’ve read other books by Rosanne Dingli or would like to comment on this one.