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Suffer the Little Children: (Brunetti 16) Paperback – 26 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (26 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099536633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099536635
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,798 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

Review

"Donna Leon is keeping up an astonishingly high standard ... she achieves a perfect blend of characters, place, mystery and social issues. Her sixteenth Brunetti novel is also one of her best." (The Times)

"Leon builds her plot meticulously. [She] has her finger on the pulse" (Mirror)

"Suffer the Little Children is Donna Leon at her best, deftly mixing Commissario Guido Brunetti's detective work with perceptive awareness of social issues." (The Times)

"Leon tackles this difficult issue sensitively, without stinting on mouth-watering descriptions of Venice." (Daily Telegraph)

"As ever, Leon writes with an insider's knowledge of Venice, expertly navigating its complex geography." (Sunday Times)

Book Description

Another gripping and dark mystery from award-winning crime writer Donna Leon in the sixteenth Commissario Brunetti novel of the bestselling series

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 April 2008
Format: Paperback
As John Peel said of The Fall, "always different, always the same"; it's a sentiment that could equally apply to the Venetian novels of Donna Leon. Always different in the plots, the players, themes, always the same in terms of wonderful style, rigid social engagement and interrogation, and Guido Brunetti and his family. These elements don't really vary from book-to-book: Leon's style, her intense interest in the social issues effecting her fair city, and the comforting presence of Brunetti and his warm, reassuring family. That's why so many people are drawn back novel after novel, thanks to these reliable elements. And it's no different here. All these things are present, correct, and as attractive as ever. They make every Leon novel a guaranteed pleasure. However, it's the differences that add the spice and flavour of each novel, that stand them off in competition with one another, and that make "Suffer the Little Children" one of the strongest entries in the series, certainly the best since the career highlights that were Uniform Justice and Doctored Evidence.

Three Carabinieri officers burst into the apartment of a local Venetian paediatrician and his wife. After trying to defend his family, the doctor is left in hospital, and one of the officers is the victim of "assault". Their 18 month old son is taken. Brunetti is summoned to the hospital in the aftermath to try and find out what's gone on, what motivated such a violent reaction from the military police? Why was their son taken? This initial event will set Brunetti into a practical and moral maze of policework involving illegal adoption, infertility clinics, desperate parents, fraudulent pharmacists and nefarious moralising doctors. And, as always in Leon's Venice, the long influential arms of those who wield the real power.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on 7 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Attacking corruption seems to be a favorite theme of Donna Leon. And along the way, there's usually a murder or two to solve. And in the case of her latest Commassario Guido Brunetti thriller, Leon is, once again, on target.

This time the venerable Venice police officer is confronted with the issue of illegal child adoption practices and the accompanying ramifications therein. As in the previous 15 Brunetti novels, Leon looks at her home city and addresses one or more of its myriad problems, social and otherwise. Still, this series is not about Venice, which she loves, but those characters and issues that attack the sheer beauty and even moral turpitude of the Pearl of the Adriatic.

In "Suffer the Little Children," Brunetti early on is called to the hospital after learning that one of its doctors has been beaten almost to death by a police team, which had stormed the doctor's home and, aside from the beating, had taken the doctor's 18-month old son, which, as it turns out, is an adopted son. Thus the plot kicks into a higher gear. Brunetti learns, from his various sources and own initiative that adopting children is not only a lucrative business but also highly illegal in some circumstances. The ramifications of such adoptions, of course, is wide open. A second running issue in the book is the investigation of a pharmacy-doctor scam that seems to be widespread.
With Brunetti's ace team (Signorina Eletra and Sgt. Vianello, especially), the cases eventually come to a conclusion. Of course, as is usual for a Leon book, the endings are not always satisfying to the reader who is looking for the "happily ever after" approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 23 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a (hopefully) incredible tale by D Leon as she takes an intelligently harsh views of the problems of infertility and the human desire for a baby. She also uses it to point to the problems associated with illegal immigration.
Brunetti shares our sadness as he tries to unravel this mystery. I did not "enjoy" it so have only given it 2 stars but that does not mean it is poorly written, just that the subject matter was distressing.
One point: I think it unlikely that Brunetti would have told Paola that her friend had undergone a termination. They share his worries
and keep few secrets but I think commonsense would have made him quiet on that one. You have to read that chapeter quite carefully to notice that he did tell Paola.
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
The 16th mystery in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series begins with Brunetti and Inspector Vianello listening to garrulous woman reporting strange goings on in the opposite apartment.

The action then shifts to the apartment that Dr Gustavo Pedrolli, a respected paediatrician, and his wife, Bianca share with their eighteen-month old son, Alfredo. Rarely can there have been a more doting father. However, their peace is shattered when a team of masked carabinieri break the door down, take the boy away and batter the doctor so badly that he has to be admitted to the neurology department of his own hospital. Enter the Commissario and Vianello for the second time. We learn that 'Brunetti's profession had made him a master of pauses: he could distinguish them the way a concert-master could distinguish the tones of various strings. There was the absolute, almost belligerent pause, after which nothing would come unless in response to questions or threats. There was the attentive pause, after which the speaker measured the effect on the listener of what had just been said. And there was the exhausted pause, after which the speaker needed to be left undisturbed until emotional control returned.'

This novel sees Brunetti and Leon back to the top of their form. Here the author, always socially conscious addresses the twin themes of infertility and illegal adoptions. It seems that some reviewers are critical of the issues that Leon brings to the fore in her books that are, in case we forget, works of fiction. It would be difficult to argue that corruption is endemic in many areas of Italian society, including law enforcement and medicine, here illustrated by a scam over computerised healthcare records.
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