The second novel to feature Guido Brunetti, Donna Leon's much-loved Commissario of the Venice Police.
Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers. She is an award-winning crime novelist, celebrated for the bestselling Brunetti series. Donna has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Donna's books have been translated into 35 languages and have been published around the world. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Fatal Remedies, Doctored Evidence, A Sea of Troubles and Beastly Things.
The well-fed, muscular body fished from a Venice canal by police Commissario Guido Brunetti's men belongs to an American soldier killed miles away from his base by an expert knife thrust. In seeking motive and murderer, the phlegmatic Brunetti is forced to do end runs around his easily enraged, sycophantic boss Patta, who is more concerned with the tourist trade than with the truth. Patta's bluster increases when Brunetti looks too closely into the theft of artwork belonging to a wealthy and corrupt arms dealer. Stilted dialogue, predictable twists and obvious villains threaten to sink a reasonably intriguing plot linking the Mafia and the U.S. and Italian governments in a massive cover-up of toxic waste dumping. Fortunately, Venice looms large as a well-painted backdrop. Its damp, crumbling beauty and tourist-mobbed sites are as vivid in Leon's ( Death at La Fenice ) depiction as the rich tang of espresso boiling over or the chill of a morgue tucked away on the cemetery island of San Michele. (July)
Brunetti ... long ago joined the ranks of the classic fictional
detectives * Evening Standard *
What makes Leon's work especially unnerving is the sense that corruption is a continuing process ... The characters of Brunetti and his family continue to deepen throughout the series * The Times *