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A Noble Radiance: (Brunetti 7) Paperback – 6 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099536668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099536666
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. 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, Through A Glass, Darkly, Suffer the Little Children, The Girl of His Dreams, and most recently, About Face.

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Review

"In her detective novels with Commissario Brunetti, Donna Leon can paralyse the reader with a joyful suspense, lost in the environs of Venice and hopelessly in love with her central character and his wife" (Mail on Sunday)

"The marvel of this book is that almost every detail on every page forms part of a succession of clues, planted with exquisite precision, to unravelling the mystery" (Sunday Times)

"Goes a long way to confirming Donna Leon's claim to have taken literary possession of Venice ... A Noble Radiance gives the reader a delightful foretaste of the summer holidays to come, but it also offers much more than that" (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

The seventh installment in the award-winning Brunetti series by crime fiction writer Donna Leon, where the Venetian police Commissario must unearth the roots of a brutal murder.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I close this book there are a handful of reviews here which all have something relevant to say. Among the disappointed are those who complain of slow pace and a plot which is often virtually static. True, but they bought the wrong book. Donna Leon doesn't aspire to write another Italian Job; she is, as others have observed, interested in moral issues, in personal relationships, in truth and justice and corruption. For example, she can deal perceptively with the fur trade in a couple of paragraphs, leave the reader thoughtful before turning the page. Her novels tend to have texture rather than line, and it is easy to believe that to be true of police work.

Devotees may regret that in A Noble Radiance there is less of Venice itself than in the earlier books, but that is compensated by further insights into the character or the Brunetti family. They feel more and more like real people who cook, worry about children, squabble and make up within the context of a family whose lives are touched by the Commissario's often unpleasant job.

Plotwise, the noble Lorenzoni's push the boundaries of credibility but just about survive. The coincidence of the role played by Brunetti's brother is crucial and artfully planted early; many a mystery story has relied on the device but it leaves a faint feeling of cheating. And not for the first time, Signorina Ellettra, with her contacts and her computer, proves to be the most capable detective in the Questura. But she is a secretary - and one whose generous disposal of public funds at the florists might one day merit a thought or two from Brunetti himself.

A Noble Radiance is a good book which, read with the right expectations, will entertain and provoke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE on 24 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Very difficult to review this novel. From start to finish, it left me indifferent, but I don't think that makes it a bad book, or one to be avoided.

The pace is modest. There are some good lines. The plot is best not examined too closely. Brunetti, by now in his seventh novel, should really be a fuller, better-defined character but he left me indifferent. All I picked up was that he liked food, his family and possessed a high sense of moral duty.

The ensemble cast were notable by their fleeting appearances although, like Brunetti, it is easy to have a soft spot for his secretary Elettra. Mrs Leon's style is untaxing and undemanding.

If you want an introduction to Brunetti and like a good whodunnit I would not start here. The 'suspect' list is very short. There are a lot of fans who read more into this author's work than is merited but that doesn't make this a bad book. It's just indifferent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First Sentence: There was nothing much to notice about the field, a hundred-metre square of dry grass below a small village in the foothills of the Dolomites.

On the recently purchased property of a doctor near the Italian Dolomites is found the much decomposed body of a young man. Near it is a ring bearing the crest of the Lorenzonis, one of Italy's most aristocratic families, whose son had been abducted two years ago. Comm. Guido Brunetti reviews the file and decides to unofficially re-investigate the case. The more he learns, the more he questions whether the kidnapping was as it appeared.

Leon writes some of my favorite characters. Guido Brunetti has a strong moral and ethical code as well as a need to seek out what is just. He has a strong marriage and a close relationship with his children, although these were relatively absent from this book, and is developing a closer relationship with his wife's parents. Then there is the remarkable Signorina Elettra, of whom each reader should have the pleasure of discovering on their own. I particularly like that, in this book, we learn more of Guido's own family and his past. I also appreciate that we see the principal characters grow and develop with each book in the series.

The book is so well written and I love her use of language. There is a classicism to it that reflects the characters and the author and makes her books such a pleasure to read.

Leon creates a very strong sense of place that takes the reader along with the characters. I've not visited Venice, but nearly forget that when I read her books. Her descriptions of food always leave me heading for the kitchen.

The plot was very well done. In essence, it is a story of families and the impact they can have upon us.
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the seventh of Donna Leon's novels, published in 1998, about Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleagues in the Venice Questura. The focus is on the social divisions in Italian society and, in particular, of the social and economic power of the Italian aristocracy.

A skeleton is found in an isolated part of Dolomites when a garden is being created for a newly-refurbished villa. The remains are linked to the kidnapping of Roberto, heir to the Lorenzoni family, who are much involved in businesses in Italy and beyond. Although the dead man's father, would have readily paid a ransom for his son, the kidnappers' demands were not followed up. In seeking background information on the family and the dead man, Brunetti is shocked to learn from his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, that his daughter is unhappy. So Brunetti has professional and personal challenges ahead of him.

Leon's ability to describe a character in a few lines remains one of her great strengths. Thus, the Contessa who has just learned that the remains are those of Roberto "sat in the same chair, but now she gave the impression that the chair was in the process of devouring her, so little of her body seemed to remain within its enveloping wings". She is also cynical about Italian justice, "To many it seems that , during the time when the police are not labouring to bring criminals before their appointed judges, they are arresting or investigating those same judges".

Brunetti's boss, the puffed-up bullfrog, Vice-Questore Patta, continues to cause Brunetti problems but he manages to manipulate his boss as does Patta's secretary, Signorina Elettra, who buys flowers for the Questura and charges them to her boss's account.
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