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The Girl of His Dreams: (Brunetti 17)
 
 

The Girl of His Dreams: (Brunetti 17) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Leon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Donna Leon’s engaging books have been the cheapest way to travel to Italy for quite some time -- and her legion of admirers know that the Venice of her protagonist Commissario Brunetti is a wonderful destination for the crime fiction lover. Leon, an American expat who now lives in la Serenissima (with such luminaries as opera singer Cecilia Bartoli as one of her friends) has gone native – in no uncertain terms. Her knowledge of Brunetti’s water-logged beat is transmuted into vivid and evocative narratives: the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge are often the dark passageways to another, darker Italy, where hidden (and not-so-hidden) corruption – in politics and daily life – is very much an everyday thing (as headlines in the papers – not just in Donna Leon’s books –remind us on a daily basis).

The Girl of his Dreams demonstrates how much life is left in the Leon/Brunetti criminal world. A child’s body is found floating near some steps on the Grand Canal – it is that of a dead girl. But there have been no reports of missing children -- and the search for the identity of the youthful victim and her family takes Brunetti to many varied destinations, including a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, and (eventually), he turns up some very nasty secrets. As ever, it’s not just the villains who thwart Brunetti at every turn – it’s the venality and clandestine nature of the establishment that hampers him, almost as a matter of course.

This is Leon on effortless form – Brunetti fans need not hesitate. --Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

Donna Leon’s engaging books have been the cheapest way to travel to Italy for quite some time -- and her legion of admirers know that the Venice of her protagonist Commissario Brunetti is a wonderful destination for the crime fiction lover. Leon, an American expat who now lives in la Serenissima (with such luminaries as opera singer Cecilia Bartoli as one of her friends) has gone native – in no uncertain terms. Her knowledge of Brunetti’s water-logged beat is transmuted into vivid and evocative narratives: the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge are often the dark passageways to another, darker Italy, where hidden (and not-so-hidden) corruption – in politics and daily life – is very much an everyday thing (as headlines in the papers – not just in Donna Leon’s books –remind us on a daily basis).

The Girl of his Dreams demonstrates how much life is left in the Leon/Brunetti criminal world. A child’s body is found floating near some steps on the Grand Canal – it is that of a dead girl. But there have been no reports of missing children -- and the search for the identity of the youthful victim and her family takes Brunetti to many varied destinations, including a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, and (eventually), he turns up some very nasty secrets. As ever, it’s not just the villains who thwart Brunetti at every turn – it’s the venality and clandestine nature of the establishment that hampers him, almost as a matter of course.

This is Leon on effortless form – Brunetti fans need not hesitate. --Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 515 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0871139804
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS402
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,194 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
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly formulaic 12 May 2009
Format:Paperback
I have enjoyed many of Donna Leon's books for their Venetian detail and the appealing character of Guido Brunetti, but her recent books seem to be much shorter on plot and character. Perhaps she has succumbed to the pressure of having to produce a book every year.

The actual murder-mystery in this book takes forever to get going, there is little suspense or sense of menace and many characters appear to be mere mouthpieces for whatever ideas about modern Italy the author wishes to express, eg, attitudes to gypsies and immigrants. On the positive side, she makes good use of the Venetian settings and manages to create some interesting characters even if many are too underdeveloped ever to become engaging.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Girl of His Dreams 12 April 2010
Format:Paperback
Not her best. Too much anti-church bias. One of the two cases left unresolved at book's end.
Simply doesn't live up to the high standard set by her earlier novels.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon at her best 9 April 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want a simple whodunnit, then read no further. However, if you want to be engaged and challenged, and reminded of the deviousness of the human mind, the by-ways of evil, and the moral ambiguities of life, then Donna Leon has few peers, and this book shows why.
This book starts apparently inconsequentially at a funeral, and then with a priest consulting Comissario Brunetti, Leon's chief character. It serves as a way into Brunetti's thoughts and inner world; for while those are present in each of her Venetian novels, they are centre-stage here throughout.
The main event, the finding of a young child's body in a canal, doesn't come until well into the book, but since what Leon wants to do is show how the find affects Brunetti, as well as those around him, the atmosphere and the interiority of the narrative need space to develop. Without giving anything away, one can say that the girl haunts Brunetti: she is the girl of his dreams in a way that phrase normally never signifies.
The figure of Ispettore Vianello, Brunetti's assistant, is drawn more fully in this novel than in any of the preceding, and he becomes both a mirror to and a foil for Brunetti's broodings.
The usual lighter moments of the series: food, drink, and the wiles of Patta's secretary are all present, but are less prominent. Given the darkness of the book, they have to be. The city's role as a character, always a part of these books, is different, too: somehow, for Brunetti, this crime subtly alters his take on Venice.
By the end of the book, there both is and isn't resolution. The facts around the girl's death are clearer, and the priest's query gets an answer. And we end at another funeral that balances the beginning. But the moral ambiguities are, well, just more ambiguous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Barmee
Format:Paperback
At the end of this novel Guido Brunetti and his wife are talking and phrase is used: "It's not like one of your novels where everything is resolved in the final chapter".
Sadly that is quite a fair summary of this book.

I'm a big fan of Leon's work and I love to read the books becuase they make me feel like I'm back in Venice.
However it feels with this book (and I've read ALL of the others)that she did not have the story totally mapped out before she wrote it.

As ever Venice feels wonderful (this time it is set in the early spring) and as ever there are at least 2 stories running through the book (Religion and 'Gypsies'). However neither story fully develops and the conclusion of both is quite weak.

It is common for Leon to tackle themes where a neat ending is not possible, however in this instance I felt (as a reader) it was her duty as 'the story teller' to conclude the tales much better.

I dare say if you are a fan of her work my review won't stop you from reading the book, but beware - several of the characters (and some minor plots) are not fully developed, you don't feel much sympathy for those who you are perhaps supposed to like. Also (without spoiling what story there is) I felt there should have been a better way to conclude the main plot. You do find out 'who done it' but (as is often the case with Leon) that person is not convicted. The reasons for this are made clear ... and yet I felt it should/could have been possible to twist the story such that the ending was more satisfying.

An 'OK' book - but not one of her finest.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon's Brunetti is at the top of his form! 10 May 2008
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Donna Leon's 17th Commissario Brunetti book continues, well, Donna Leon. There's nothing new about this 17th episode, other than the crimes they're investigating, but Leon's fans don't necessarily want anything new. They're happy with this series just being Donna Leon: well written stories, great characterizations, excellent plot, and, of course, her penchant for socially significant issues, the least of which is not the corruptive practices of some elements of the Italian establishment (to put it kindly). As she told me last November, "My books aren't published in Italian!" Which is probably why she continues to enjoy living in Venice. In her books she looks scathingly at various facets of official Italian life and not kindly. That said, the other elements are like dazzling gems. And she does love her Venice.

Brunetti is a sensitive, honest policeman who never continues to be amazed at the "human condition." Crime after crime doesn't deter him, although he often calls into question some of society's "thinking." He does so with the support of his learned wife Paolo (who teaches English literature at a local university). This personal relationship is also one of the strong points in Leon's works.

In "Girl of his Dreams," a young girl is found drowned in one of the canals; on her person are two items of value, jewelry that lead not only to the owners but to the pursuit of what looks like murder. Here Brunetti faces the political and social concerns involving "non-Italian" residents (in this case Gypsies) and the discrimination and social injustices they not only suffer, but sometimes lead into. It also addresses the double standards of justice for the poor and the rich and well-placed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One of her better ones - they are all compusive reading though
One of her better ones - they are all compusive reading though! Poignant, thoughtful and probably well-researched in the ways of Romany life. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars nice civilised read.
Good atmosphere. Cleverly written and subtle in that the under dogs switch places with the big wheels who started out as victims. But we're they? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. R. C. Whitehand
5.0 out of 5 stars Brunetti
I love these books. If you love Venice and want to feel your back there these are for you. But the story lines are so good you just have to keep reading them
Published 2 months ago by km55
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, as always.
Donna Leon never disappoints with the gentle and thoughtful Inspector Brunetti and the well drawn characters around him. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon Must Read
Another excellent read and one that you can lift and lay at will. Simple language but always compelling enough to want more.
Published 11 months ago by Captain John J Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars Venice under the watchful eyes of Guido Brunetti and Donna Leon
This book is largely set on the fishing island of Pellestrina, and Commissario Brunetti is tasked with resolving the murder of two fisherman, a father and son. Read more
Published 13 months ago by TripFiction
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read
I forced myself to finish this book. It was a good enough story but there were too many irrelevant characters in it (in my opinion).
Published 14 months ago by Sharon Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Reviews seem to be mixed, some in praise, some disappointed. For me this is an excellent read, bringing into focus situations close to people in the centre of Europe which may be... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Goldfinch
5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl of his Dreams
Donna Leon's novels always leave the reader wondering about the fine line between good and evil. 'The Girl of his Dreams' is no exception. Two stories intertwine. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sophia
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Yet another excellent Brunetti novel by the superb Donna Leon, who does not write quickly enough for me - fantastic author
Published 18 months ago by Ms. L. Alcantara Caminero
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