He’s bald, built like a barrel and oozes sex appeal: I’m talking about the Italian stallion otherwise known as Inspector Salvatore ‘Salvo’ Montalbano.
Ever since I accidentally came across a random, sun-soaked episode of Montalbano on BBC4 I’ve been hooked on the adventures of the Sicilian detective who solves crimes ranging from child trafficking to domestic mysteries while managing to fit in plenty of lurve-making with his long-suffering, on-off lady friend Livia and boozy lunches at his favourite restaurants (he’s a major foodie).
In many ways, Montalbano is a lot like one of our other OOT heroes, Sharpe. He’s regarded as a bit of a loose canon by his superiors but commands the undying loyalty of his motley crew of men and while appearing grouchy and cantankerous, has a soft spot for women, children and animals.
He’s also completely incorruptible and manages to emerge from the often sleazy world of Sicilians politics and corruption with a clean conscience, even when dealing with the local Mafioso (who don’t scare him ‘cos he’s dead brave and cool.)
Montalbano is not remotely squeamish about using his gun to shoot baddies (especially sleazy child traffickers) dead in the line of duty, but is just as good at comforting an orphaned child or a doddery little old lady. Sigh.
And he’s a serious gastronome, demanding the finest, freshest fish and savouring delicious bowls of pasta, cannoli and other local delicacies. He is the reason I went to Sicily last summer for my holidays
I love his piercing green-blue eyes, rugged stubble and stocky build which he maintains by swimming in the clear blue waters of the sea – did I mention he has a beachfront apartment with a balcony where he likes to sit and drink wine in the evenings?
Ooh and just to make things even more interesting (or am I reading too much into things here?) there’s also a faintly homoerotic frisson between Montalbano and his womanizing deputy, Domenico 'Mimì' Augello. They’re always bickering like an old married couple and getting jealous of each other’s girlfriends.
Oh and just to be clear, in this case, my crush is TOTALLY on Montalbano the fictional character as played in the TV series by Luca Zingaretti (who looks, erm, very different in real life…)
Am I alone in my love for the hunky Sicilian Commissario? Would you like to Obnoxiously Objectify someone? Tell me in the comments below!