- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Arrow (1 Mar. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099559765
- ISBN-13: 978-0099559764
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Drawing Conclusions: (Brunetti 20) Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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"[Leon's] portrait of Venice and modern Italy is, as always, captivating...The lively conversations between...characters, displaying Leon's sly humour, are a delight." (Evening Standard)
"With characteristic skill, Leon draws together multiple threads and a well-rounded cast ... With the steady, unsentimental style that has become her signature, Donna Leon keeps us hesitating until the last corner is turned." (Times Literary Supplement)
"Leon's clear-eyed descriptions of Venice still make you long to return to the calles and campos of the floating city." (Sunday Telegraph)
"More elegant, understated crime fighting from the mistress of La Serinissima...A welcome return to the comfortable characters and locations that her fans have come to love." (Independent)
"[Leon] is a master at weaselling her way into the venal byways of human selfishness and laying them bare. ... There's a quietness to the crimes here that is more powerful than outlandish violence, and which points to the philosophical bedrock from which Leon so effectively works." (Scottish Sunday Herald)
Celebrated by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, Donna Leon brings us the twentieth Commissario Brunetti detective novel in this gripping Venice based crime series.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you want thrills and fast action, look elsewhere. To do that, though, would be a shame, because the way Leon tells the story exactly parallels the nature of the crime and the evil: they're hidden things, things society would sooner ignore, things which require careful vision to see.
So the investigation unfolds gently, slowly and not always obviously; yet always inexorably, until we are brought, with Brunetti, to the truth, and the central evil of the book.
It would be a shame if a writer of Donna Leon's class were condemned to write variations on a theme, as so many crime writers do. Each of her books has a different register; she is ready to try new ways of writing and unfolding a plot. And that means, inevitably, that not every one of her fans will like each book. Yet, to me at least, this one is a gem: understated but vital, and never after effect for the sake of effect. So what if Patta et al take a back seat? That's what this story requires, so that's how Leon writes it.
Ignore the nay-sayers and see for yourself...
But to the detective aspect of the book, which is what we are all theoretically there for - how about that? Well, agaiin I felt that Donna Leon was slightly bored by the format. Yes, we get a mystery - an elderly lady is found dead. It could be a heart attack but there are some indications which suggest violence which may have precipitated the heart attack. The son is well in with Patta, but behaves mysteriously, the finder of the body may have links to the Mafia, the spare bedroom of the flat is plain odd. We get a resolution, of course, but it is frankly not very satisfactory qua detective fiction resolution - and the red herrings are not enjoyably played out along the way - just floated and dropped.
Where Leon seems more to be going is a slightly downbeat state of the nation review.Read more ›
I'm surprised that some reviewers have felt that this book was not as good as previous Donna Leon novels. I thought it was up to her usual high standard. I don't read her Commissario Brunetti books for the detective element, more for the atmosphere of Venice and Italian life: both good and bad. She has created a range of well-rounded characters whose lives I enjoy following in the series. Brunetti is unusual in detective fiction that he's basically a happy man, with a stable family life, who doesn't drink to excess or smoke endless cigarettes, and who gets on well with his assistant, Vianello and is thus a welcome contrast to the almost universal character clichés of other detective series. A favourite character for me is Signorina Electra and her amazing computer hacking skills and her dead-pan approach to her pompous and lazy boss, Vice-Questore, Patta.
It's almost like Ms Leon has lost interest - Scarpa makes a token appearance, complaining about the 2 coppers Brunetti has no time for; Elettra buys flowers and hacks into computers; Vianello is a tower of strength; Patta is as blandly infuriating as ever; Paola cooks less than formerly and Raffi & Chiara barely make an appearance.
It's Brunetti, Jim, but not as we know it.
Perhaps I've finally read too many of a series which I adored for its freshness and personality when it first appeared, but frankly, I could not get really interested in any of the characters at all. I just didn't care. I don't think Donna Leon does, anymore.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You can always rely on Donna Leon to take you away to Venice without the tedium of a plane journey.Published 2 months ago by David Springett
An excellent read. I am addicted to donna Leon s writing. I have read better storylines in her previous titles but cannot help but enjoy the characters their lives and the... Read morePublished 2 months ago
Donna Leon has never written a bad book, but this is one of the best. An old woman is found dead in her flat in slightly suspicious circumstances. Read morePublished 3 months ago by GeordieReader
I found this another very enjoyable read. Apart from the wonderful characters and setting, I loved the mystery and the way it was resolved. Read morePublished 4 months ago by tangerina
A compelling mystery. Together with family links and descriptions of the city of Venice. Not to mention the food aspect.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like Donna Leon's books. I 've been living in Italy for the last 15 years and understand many things and problems of this country. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Francis-Smith Galina