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Beastly Things: (Brunetti 21)

Beastly Things: (Brunetti 21) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Leon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The superb reader, Andrew Sachs, has become the voice of Brunetti: intelligent, thoughtful, weary and worldly wise. When the policeman relaxes at night, we can almost taste the cold Pinot Grigio that he sips on his balcony, and when he pays a visit to the sickening, stinking, blood-boltered horrors of the slaughterhouse, we are led right down into the seventh circle of Dante's Hell." (Sue Gaisford The Independent on Sunday)

"A gripping narrative read by Andrew Sachs." (Choice Magazine)

Book Description

Number 21 in the Commissario Brunetti series from Donna Leon, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Drawing Conclusions

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 043402161X
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (5 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,434 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Beastly Things" is another well-written episode of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, albeit one that seems even darker and more contemplative than usual. For me, this story transcended the crime genre into something more like an insightful, psychological novel.

We have to assume that author Donna Leon uses her wonderfully sketched protagonist, Brunetti, to voice her own concerns about social and political issues that plague his (and her) Italian home of Venice; and those concerns have multiplied over the years as traditional woes with corruption in politics have been added to by the plight of immigrants in Italy, the trafficking in women and children, rampant polluting and pollution and myriad other forms of criminal behavior that generally are based in the sins well-described by Leon's early predecessor Dante.

"Beastly Things" opens with the murder of a local veterinarian. The investigation that follows uncovers something far more sinister, something that threatens the population at large. This crime vs. general threat is deftly--even brilliantly--handled by Leon as she describes the reactions of bystanders to details of the two kinds of crime. To be sure the author's outrage, as expressed through Brunetti, is appropriately great and expanding as the case moves toward its resolution. Greed is at the bottom of all of it, and Brunetti is allowed some powerful feelings that cause him to cut ethical corners in order to punish the perpetrators.

Built into this novel--and a few others in the series--is the basic question of what measures can be taken by decent people of authority to combat pervasive corruption, venality and criminality that is protected or indulged by people of even higher authority.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a bit to beef about... 3 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a regular visitor to Venice I must confess a weakness for Donna Leon's detective fiction. This, her latest, set in the city with her faithful detective, Brunetti, has many pleasing vignettes about the problems of coping with local bureaucracy and the endless strands of Government that costs billions without ever seeming to stamp down on corruption and environmental menace that has become ever more prevalent throughout Italy.

In this novel Leon, a committed vegetarian, takes a look at what health hazards are occurring in a mainland abattoir, the slaughterhouse on Venice having closed some years ago, and the mysterious death of a veterinary surgeon who worked there. Leon knows her Venice as one would expect from a long time resident in the City but unfortunately her plots are becoming simplistic to say the least.

The usual characters are all here: Patta, Brunetti's lazy and time serving boss whose work ethic is simply not to rock the boat with the City's power brokers and therefore remain in office; Paola, Brunetti's intellectual, liberal, university lecturer wife- most likely a meat eating edition of Leon herself- and Signorina Elettra, the beautiful and brilliant secretary to Patta who is capable of hacking into computers everywhere and, when she cannot, finding previously unmentioned friends who can render a service.

So whenever Brunetti, or indeed Leon, gets stuck a quick trip upstairs to the flower filled office of the fragrant Elettra is all that is required to get crime solving on the move again. As Leon churns out a new Brunetti every two years or so I have noticed an increasing reliance of Elettra and plots become ever less involved as the years have passed.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Would They Do Without Signorina Elettra? 3 April 2012
By takingadayoff TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I always learn something while reading Donna Leon's mysteries. For instance, although I'd seen the vu compra, the African immigrant street vendors, in Venice, I didn't know anything about them until I read Blood From A Stone (2005).

In this latest Commissario Brunetti mystery, Beastly Things, we learn about slaughterhouses and the meat processing industry. A visit to the slaughterhouse leaves even toughened cops Brunetti and Inspector Vianello speechless. And while they don't actually skip lunch afterward, they both opt for vegetarian sandwiches.

Beastly Things doesn't stand out among Leon's mysteries, but it is a dependable police procedural that keeps the murder in the forefront throughout. Some of her recent books have concentrated more on issues of the day rather than the mystery.

Of interest apart from the case itself were some apparent doubts expressed by Vianello and Brunetti as they once again turned to the Questura's (police headquarters) secretary, Signorina Elettra, to hack into databases they have no legal right to access. They wonder if they rely too much on Elettra's technical wizardry. Leon herself might have been asking the question of herself, at least as it regards the solutions to many of her mysteries, which often rely on Signorina Elettra's unofficial discoveries. Even as a reader, I wonder if I would be as amused if the unpleasant Lieutenant Scarpa or if Brunetti himself were doing the hacking? Elettra is such an engaging character that I look forward to her hacking exploits.

It's no coincidence that Leon has Brunetti's English professor wife, Paola, tussling with an ethical dilemma of her own. Not surprisingly, Paola comes to a decision that will allow her to sleep at night. Brunetti, once again forced to choose between doing the right thing and the legal thing, doesn't have that luxury.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Janet Handcock
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Really enjoyed this book - love the descriptions of Venice and its community. Like the main characters - good story.
Published 20 days ago by vanessa pearce
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Judy and Johnny Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars Brunetti lives (just)
Leon is always worth reading, but the last few books are really very slight and thin by comparison with the earlier ones - too much sense that the author has a yearly contract to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good writer love her books!
Published 1 month ago by Madelaine
5.0 out of 5 stars like
Published 1 month ago by Al
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but Tatty
Book a little tatty but ok to read. Ordered and delivered with another book but still two delivery charges!!!!
Published 1 month ago by R S Tonks
4.0 out of 5 stars Shadowing Commissario Brunetti around Venice
Once again Donna Leon's beautiful descriptive writing made me feel that I was shadowing Brunetti all around Venice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Olivia Brosnan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my favourite author now have all the books . Always an enjoyable read brings back happy memories of Venice
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. D. A. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super - please let us have the earlier Brunetti on Kindle!!!
Published 3 months ago by HOWARD PENNINGTON
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