Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon has another winning thriller!, 16 April 2012
This review is from: Beastly Things: (Brunetti) (Hardcover)
Donna Leon simply doesn't seem to run out of steam. Her 21st Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery is another winner.

In "Beastly Things," we find our erstwhile police officer engaged in yet another, yes, murder. It's his forte. And, frankly, few, if any, does it better than Donna Leon.

"Only when he reached the door of his apartment did Brunetti realize how profoundly tired he was. He felt like a billiard ball that had been sliding around all day, first to this side and then to that. He'd learned too much and traveled too much, and now all he wanted to do was sit quietly and eat his dinner while listening to his family discuss subjects that had nothing to do with crime or death. He wanted a peaceful, uncontentious evening."

Alas, that was not to be. The body of an unidentified man has been discovered in one of the canals in Venice and the medical lab pronounces it a "suspicious death," which to Brunetti means murder. The man has an unusual physical disease and is missing one shoe. No one has reported a person missing. The mystery deepens.

Of course, Brunetti and his "team," especially the indefatigable Signorina Elletra, and his detective assistant Vianello, start to work their magic--either via electonic genius or good detective work and lead after lead begins to fall in place.

Leon is no stranger to addressing socially significant issues in Italy. She never misses a beat and her character development is always first class. I don't think any of the 21 books have omitted addressing the corruption of politics, business, banking--the whole Italian, especially, Venetian, scene. In "Beastly Things," the issue is animal rights (or more precisely, the "business" of meat production). In one grisly chapter, Leon takes us inside a slaughterhouse and we readily get the picture. As it happens, of course, the dead man is directly connected here, thus the author connects the two--and most effectively.

Brunetti hasn't changed, except he's another year older, but Leon has been able to maintain his credibility as a fictional policeman throughout this series. My favorite is the first book, "Death at La Fenice," followed by "Uniform Justice" and "Drawing Conclusions," although I've never been disappointed by any of this series. In "Beastly Things," Leon once more takes the bull by the horns and comes out a winner.
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