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Uniform Justice Hardcover – 6 Mar 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; 1st edition edition (6 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434007951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434007950
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 715,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Uniform Justice, the latest outing for Donna Leon's creation, Commissario Brunetti, is a prime example of Leon's non pareil scene-setting and brilliantly wrought plots, which often take their own sweet time to establish an inexorable grip. After the death in the first few pages that sets the narrative in progress, the reader (and Brunetti) has to crack a particularly knotty puzzle. Did the young cadet at a prestigious military school die at his own hand, or was it murder? And, if his death was self-inflicted, was it intentional or accidental?

The boy's parents are separated, and Brunetti learns that his mother was the victim of a shooting some years ago. Further, the boy's sister has disappeared. At the military school, Brunetti encounters a polite wall of silence, but that's nothing new for him, and this resourceful Italian copper thrives on unsolvable crimes. This time, however, the complex mystery he encounters lends itself to no easy solution. The heady brew here yokes in high-level corruption involving Italian army procurement and the allegation of transgressive sexual practices.

As ever, Leon juggles these elements with consummate skill, and it's a given that the Venetian setting is as impeccably conjured as ever. The treatment of Brunetti is fresh, too: the frustration and intransigence he struggles with are particularly counterpointed by his identification with the case--Brunetti has a son of the same age as the dead boy. But what's notably pleasing here is Donna Leon's refusal to tie everything up in a too-neat and orderly fashion. Its messy compromises are much more like real life than the contrivances of most crime novels. --Barry Forshaw


Her novels have become successively more subtle, more complex and perhaps more serious, without ever losing their compelling power.' -- The Evening Standard - praise for Wilful Behaviour

‘Compelling…brilliantly evoking Venetian atmosphere, and the characters of Brunetti and his family continue to deepen throughout this series.’ -- The Times - Praise for Wilful Behaviour

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Brunetti saw a man not far from himself in age and appearance, cradling in his arms the body of his only son, a boy about the same age as Brunetti's own." Suicide or murder?

Set in a private military school, the twelfth instalment in the Commissario Brunetti series is one of the best, in my opinion. There is a similarity to a previous instalment - The Death of Faith, 1997 - in that we are not really sure that a crime has actually been committed until we are more than halfway through the book.

Published in 2003, we finally start dealing in euros rather than lira, but the restoration of the church of San Lorenzo opposite the police station - work on which was taking place as far back as the very first episode (Death at La Fenice, 1992) - continues at its slow pace.

As usual, much of the plot relies on Signorina Elletra's abilities with the computer, and one does wonder if the speed and ease with which she gathers and interprets information for Brunetti pushes the bounds of credulity too far. Also as usual, there is a bitter taste in the reader's mouth at the end, as the workings of the Italian legal system clash with those of natural justice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When a young cadet is found hanged at a military academy Commissario Brunetti is called in to investigate an apparent suicide but the case soon becomes more complex when the history of the dead boy's father is revealed. From then on it's not so much a question of 'whodunit' but of how impotent the goodies are when faced with the corruption and power of the baddies and the story plods rather more than usual. I admit to being a big fan but I thought there were details that could have been included in 'Uniform Justice' without 'padding out' the plot. Brunetti's wife is on hand to cook and give her usual good advice but I missed the two children and his aristocratic father-in-law. I feel one of Donna Leon's great strengths is her ability to absorb her readers into a world that doesn't really exist and her background characters help to paint the big picture. I would like to know more about Brunetti's assistant Vianello and some of his other colleagues in the Questura. Signorina Elettra received her fifteen minutes of fame in 'Sea of Troubles' but I think there are missed opportunities to develop her character especially as the Commissario is borderline besotted - and not just with her computer skills. 'Uniform Justice' is one of the darker stories in this fantastic series - the Venice of smelly canals, crumbling decay and overpriced ice creams rather that the romance of gondolas, the ageless beauty of the city's architecture and gastronomic temptations. I don't go for fairy tale endings but I found this story quite gloomy - if you're thinking of a holiday read go for one of Andrea Camilleri's brilliant Montalbano books or try the late Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen.
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Format: Hardcover
Donna Leon's latest Commissario Brunetti case is one of her best!
From the opening pages, which quickly sets the tone, "Uniform Justice" is fast-paced, extremely exciting, and quite gripping. It is difficult to find an author today who is better!
A young cadet at an exclusive Venetian military prep school has been found hanged in his dormitory. The school quickly has it proclaimed a suicide, but Brunetti knows otherwise. He and his team of loyal members of Venice's police department quickly begin
their investigation--an investigation that, once more, leads us into the power structures of "the Pearl of the Adriatic."
Leon is never slow to touch up socially significant issues and she plows into this one at gale force. "Corruption in Things Italian" seems to be her middle name and she pulls no punches. One would imagine that the Italian military and even some of its other "sacred" institutions will not view this book (nor her others!) in pleased frames of mind. Still, Leon is one of the most popular American novelists read abroad today (in fact, even her recent hard-bound copies are NOT published in the US for some really strange reason!).
Again,"Uniform Justice" is Leon at her best and Brunetti doing what he does best--solving murders. An excellent read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Randomly picked one from the middle of the pack I chose this in the context of a 5th trip to Venice. I had read a few before from the Donna Leon series for the same reason and the Venetian setting and reminders help. Brunetti copes with the tiresome corruption in brooding fashion to solve this crime in an exclusive private "army" cadet school. I doubt that he could solve much without the help of Patta's enigmatic secretary,Signorina Elettra, who uses methods as corrupt as the criminals while Brunetti tolerates this without too much hesitation. The references to Venice though water transport,landmarks and food are welcome but really you need to have been to Venice to get the picture. A pleasant read with an unsatisfying end. 30 million visitors so far this year should ensure a regular clientele for the Brunetti series but there are better crime writers around.
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Format: Paperback
Having worked my way through the majority of Leon's work up to this point, I can say with great conviction that Uniform Justice is without a doubt her best. The fact that all of them are excellent and thoroughly enjoyable gives some hint as to how good this 12th Brunetti novel, which deals with the supposed suicide of a cadet at a military academy, is.
As ever, all the usual ingredients which make the series so special are here: the excellent Brunetti (it's very hard to express how refreshing a detective he is among the the slew of cliched loners; he is remarkable); the sensuous yet slightly grimy portrait of Venice; Bruentti's heart-warming family; Leon's ability to create excellent character sketches in a limited number of pages; and Brunetti's children, who drift in the background with invigorating youth, like joyful spirits. It's all so comfortable and warming.
What else is excellent? The plot, for one. The mystery. Leon's examination of a rather frightening military culture. I like these books in part because the social opinions Leon expounds, the messages she gives, are so incredibly sensible. Many people indeed could benefit from reading these novels - and not just Venetians. One thing symbolised so excellently is the ability of the little man, the serf, almost, to get one-up on those higher than him, despite corruptionm, which is an ability which seems rife in Venetian society. The scenes in which Brunetti is able to so easily manipulate his boss are a supreme joy to read, and very funny as well.
But what, therefore, makes this one the best? The ending does. Leon is a very curious writer in that crime-fiction is just a hobby, to finance her first love - opera. You'd think that she might take, therefore, a slightly cavalier attitude toward it, but not at all.
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