» » Death in a Strange Country (Guido Brunetti, No. 2)

Download Death in a Strange Country (Guido Brunetti, No. 2) epub

by Donna Leon

Aggressively investigating an American's murder in tranquil Venice despite his superior's order to keep things clean and quiet, Commissario Guido Brunetti finds himself knee-deep in a toxic waste cover-up with political ties. Reprint.
Download Death in a Strange Country (Guido Brunetti, No. 2) epub
ISBN: 0143034820
ISBN13: 978-0143034827
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Donna Leon
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Books (January 4, 2005)
ePUB size: 1706 kb
FB2 size: 1119 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 614
Other Formats: mobi txt doc docx

NOW I UNDERSTAND why so many people are crazy about Donna Leon’s detective fiction! Death in a Strange Country, published in 1993, was the second in her series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice Police, and it’s nothing short of brilliant. I’d made the mistake of reading her latest offering in the series, the twenty-fourth, Falling in Love, which I found unworthy of her reputation. Death in a Strange Country redeems her in my eyes.

The story in this novel revolves around two murder mysteries and a robbery, all of which Brunetti is assigned to solve. A young man, probably an American, is found dead floating in the water of a Venice canal. He may, or may not, be the victim of a robbery. Later, a young American doctor at a U.S. Army base outside a town near Venice is found dead in her quarters, dead of a heroin overdose. Finally, the Venice palace of a Milano industrialist is burgled and its owner sent to the hospital from a beating. In all three cases, Brunetti smells a story that would rule out the obvious explanation. His investigation of all these mysteries is hemmed in by his boss, a feckless and lazy Sicilian with a fancy title who is interested only in pleasing the powers that be and taking credit for any discoveries made by defying his orders.

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for twenty-five years. Her books have been translated into many languages — but not, at her request, into Italian. The true subject of Death in a Strange Country is corruption. Leon’s depiction of Italian society and especially the Italian criminal justice system is unsparing. Little wonder that she has resisted the translation of her novels into the local language!
This is perhaps my favorite murder mystery series, and I've read a ton over the years. The author does an exceptional job in developing all the characters - especially Commissario Brunetti. I spent 5 days in Venice a couple years back and spent just enough time to get a decent feel for this charming and very special city. It's obvious Leon has lived there as her descriptions of the city are exceptional. Brunetti's Venice encompasses all of Venice from the Grand Canal to the numerous one way canals, and you will feel like you are there. From the Expresso cafes to the pastry shops and deli's Brunetti frequents, you can almost taste the food and smell the aromas from the coffee to the less than pleasant smells of the canals.

This is the second book in the series (I recommend starting with that one first so you will have a better feel for Brunetti, but you certainly won't be lost if you begin with this one. Brunetti must solve a murder of an American soldier stationed at a nearby US military base, where all signs point to a mugging gone terribly wrong. But in his analytical fashion, Brunetti digs deeper and finds a high level conspiracy involving the US military at the base. Given the political ramifications, Brunetti must, in his semi Columbo style, determine why and how to progress the case given his Superior wants to sweep this all under the rug as well.

I won't go further, but suffice it to say, you will be entranced by our intrepid Commissiario's style, his ability to prior information out of reluctant people and his low key approach. He's the type of person we all would love to have as a boss.

This is one series I'll stay with as long as Donna Leon keeps writing them. It's hard to put the book down once I start it.
The more I read Donna Leon's series based on Venetian Police Commissioner Guido Brunetti, the more I choose her work over others in the detective motif. Brunetti is urbane, intelligent, smart enough to avoid violence (most of the time), way smarter than his Vice-Questore supervisor (a prototypically incompetent, vain, political appointee), and revered by the other (few) competent personnel in the department. He's also a loyal husband and a good father - and human, very human.

Reading the series is also a way of picking up a bit of Venetian history and tidbits about the city and its landmark buildings and canals. Ms. Leon, an American ex-pat, has lived in Venice for 25 years or more and suffuses her experience of Venice and Italy into each story. One common theme is the dysfunction and corruption that runs through Italian life - with its revolving-door governments, its version of society's 1 percenters (both from older nobility and the newly wealthy), and the prevalence of Mafia-based crime underlying almost every facet of the economy. But another theme is the existence of the good, honest, competent people Guido knows, from all walks of life, with whom he consults to solve the case he's working on.

If square-jawed, testosterone-fueled, alcoholic, tobacco-sucking cops are your thing, you may not care for Guido - and that would be your loss. But it's never too late to try something new...