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Doctored Evidence Hardcover – 18 Mar 2004

18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; First Edition edition (18 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434010669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871139184
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,294,171 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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Doctored Evidence is every bit as impressive as any previous outing for the urbane Commissario Brunetti we've encountered--and reading a Donna Leon novel is almost as good as a trip to Italy, so evocative is the ex-pat of her adoptive country. Not that Signor Berlusconi would necessarily approve of the multiple levels of Italian corruption and double-dealing that Leon has strip-mined for her unflappable copper to take on--and her view of the other dark sides of Italy strays quite some way from the tourist's point of view.

Here, Brunetti seems to have come up against an open-and-shut case; a well-heeled Venetian is found bloodily murdered in her flat, with her missing maid, a Romanian immigrant, the prime suspect. The maid is tracked down, but meets a violent end on a railway track attempting to escape. Needless to say, Brunetti doesn't takes things at face value and when it transpires that the money found on the maid has not been stolen, this (along with other factors) has Brunetti doing a little unofficial sleuthing, and uncovering a very tangled web of motives indeed--with revelations quite different from the attempts to cover up municipal shenanigans that have often been the worm in the bud of previous Brunetti cases.

By now, we're all very comfortable with the Commissario and his dogged head-butting at complacent institutions. But Leon is not one to rest on her laurels--there are new elements here (notably in the brilliantly orchestrated final chapters) that take us into new territory. But all the things we love about this series are firmly in place: vivid, acutely detailed locales, the usual exemplary characterisation (not just of Brunetti--the whole dramatis personae here is spot-on); and of course that impeccable plotting. --Barry Forshaw


Fans of Leon will not be disappointed. . . . She has crafted yet another expert mystery. ("The Baltimore Sun") Deeply satisfying and often very funny. ("The Miami Herald") A beautifully cadenced mystery . . . no one is more graceful and accomplished than Donna Leon. ("The Washington Post")

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on 29 April 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's more than a "lucky 13" for Donna Leon. "Doctored Evidence" is acarefully-crafted, purposefully-written, and fully-fulfilling (typical!)Leon police procedural featuring my favorite Italian, Commissario GuidoBrunetti.
The erstwhile policeman has been on holiday to Ireland when the deathoccurs (A Romanian cleaning woman supposedly murdered her employer andmade off with a large sum of money, only to be apprehended at a bordercrossing; before police can take her into custody, she bolts and is killedby an on-coming train)and when he returns he has already dismissed thecase, which he'd read about in the papers, as merely a "cut and dried"episode in the life of the police in Venice.
Of course, the death of the cleaning woman has suspicious and unusualcircumstances and shortly after Brunetti returns to work, a neighbor ofthe dead woman reports to the police that she has proof that the woman isinnocent. This, of course, really peaks Brunetti's interest and from thatpoint on, Donna Leon is, well, Donna Leon.
Before the case is closed, of course, readers once again witness theinter-play between Brunetti and his associates, his family, and hisbeloved Venice. Leon is not shy about taking literary pot shots at anumber of socially significant issues facing not only the Venezians, theItalians, but the rest of the world.
Step by step, Leon takes us to the conclusion, where, of course it's nosecret, Brunetti's intellect, talent, and good will once more triumph.
"Doctored Evidence" continues the Leon reputation. What a fascinatingseries Leon has created. Tis a pity one has to wait a year for the nextepisode.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series, set in her adopted home-city of Venice, is one of the most purely enjoyable currently being produced. It is a huge big sparkling gem in the crown of crime fiction – it is a treasure trove of pure enjoyment.
Doctored Evidence is the 13th in the award-winning series, and just as good as all the rest. An unpleasant old-woman is found murdered in her apartment by her doctor. She was not liked. Treating her maids no better than slaves, and keeping her television on loud almost every night are just two of the behaviours which alienate her from her neighbours. Suspicion immediately falls on her Romanian maid, who is missing and heading back to her country. As the police catch up with her at a train station on the border, she flees in desperation, and is killed as she runs across the tracks into the path of a train.
Finding a large amount of money on her person, they believe they’ve found their woman. That is, until one of the victim’s neighbours returns from a business trip in London, with strong evidence to suggest that she was not the killer. The investigating officer dismisses her, passing her off to Brunetti, who starts to investigate the case unofficially, and uncovers a mystery far more complex than the one they all suspected.
The fact that Leon writes these novels purely for pleasure (she has said that she would far rather attend the opera if it came to a choice) and not for fame or money (uncomfortable with any kind of “celebrity”, she refuses to allow them to be published in Italy) really shines through this marvellous series. It is infused with something marvellous. This is crime fiction for the sake of it. It is pure and it is wonderful.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Carlo Vennarucci on 21 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Donna Leon’s thirteenth Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery novel begins with the discovery of the very brutal murder of a hateful and despised old lady. The victim had harassed her neighbors for the past five years with her blaringly loud television. The immediate suspect is the woman’s Romanian housekeeper, who was accosted crossing the Italian border on a return train trip to her native country. The suspect panicked, fled the train and was accidentally run over by another oncoming train. Brunetti was on vacation in Ireland at the time and Lieutenant Scarpa, a vindictive colleague, quickly declared the murder solved and essentially closed the case. Upon his return, Brunetti reopens the case when a conscientious women contacts the police declaring the housekeeper’s innocence and providing a plausible alibi. This sets stage for a battle of wills between Brunetti and his hated arch-rival Lieutenant Scarpa. As always, the good guys are the triumvirate of Brunetti, loyal Inspector Vianello, and the wonderfully clever Signorina Elettra, the Vice-Questore’s secretary. Signorina Elettra, using her computer hacking skills, digs up relevant information such as secret bank accounts, money transfers, and telephone records on a wide range of suspects. After Brunetti has a discussion with his wife Paola about the Seven Deadly Sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth), he tries to reason out which of these sins was the motive for the murder of the old lady.
Leon does a marvelous job of introducing her varied cast of interesting characters and some of the current attitudes of Venetians. These include prejudice towards Eastern European immigrants and gays; the dread of AIDS; tax evasion and suspected construction fraud.
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