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Download Beastly Things: (Brunetti 21) epub

by Donna Leon

When a body is found floating in a canal, strangely disfigured and with multiple stab wounds, Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate and is convinced he recognises the man from somewhere. However, with no identification on the body except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress.Brunetti soon realises why he remembers the dead man, and asks Signorina Elettra if she can help him find footage of a farmers' protest the previous autumn. But what was his involvement with the protest, and what does it have to do with his murder? Acting on the fragile lead, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello set out to discover the man's identity. Their investigation eventually takes them to a slaughterhouse on the mainland, where they discover the origin of the crime and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it. Both a gripping case and a harrowing exploration of the dark side of Italy's meat industry, Donna Leon's latest novel is a compelling addition to the Brunetti series.
Download Beastly Things: (Brunetti 21) epub
ISBN: 043402161X
ISBN13: 978-0434021611
Category: No category
Author: Donna Leon
Language: English
Publisher: William Heinemann (2012)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1643 kb
FB2 size: 1726 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 929
Other Formats: docx rtf azw lrf

First a bit of back-story: Last year about this time when Donna Leon was in Washington promoting her latest Brunetti novel, "Drawing Conclusions," someone in the audience asked her where she gets her ideas. So she told us a bit about the Brunetti novel she was then writing, which was this one. She said she'd seen a most unusual looking man on a train one day and later learned he was a victim of a rare condition called Madelung's disease. Then a little later at the dry cleaner's she spotted someone she'd known slightly many years earlier. Inspiration struck and in next to no time, a Madelung man would become her next murder victim, the physique and persona of the former acquaintance would attach itself to a prime suspect, and "Beastly Things" would take off from there.

"Beastly Things" opens at the morgue, with Brunetti looking at the newly arrived and odd-bodied corpse that had just been pulled out of the canal with three knife wounds in his back and no identification on him, while Rizzardi, the coroner, explains most interestingly the man's rare condition. It will then take quite a while for Brunetti and Vianello to discover who the victim was, but eventually they learn he was not a Venetian, but a man from the nearby inland town of Mestre. In short order their investigation will center on a slaughterhouse and what appears to be some nefarious goings-on there.

As longtime Leon fans will know, up until "Drawing Conclusions" the Brunetti novels all featured two concurrent cases. I really like this new cutting down of Brunetti's workload to a single case per novel, as it provides Leon with more room to get into our hero's ruminations about this and that, conversations with his wife Paola and partner Vianello and keenly observant descriptive passages about life in Venice. We also get a brief glimpse this time of a more human side of Patta as a father. And the two detectives admit to wondering whether all these "friends" Elettra counts on for inside information may really be pseudonyms for herself. But do they really want to know?

And, oh yes, Brunetti at last gets a computer and, as rarely happens after a Questura investigation, someone actually gets arrested.

Other things you might want to know:

1. * While their jobs require that Brunetti and Vianello spend all of chapter 19 witnessing what goes on in a slaughterhouse and emerging from that experience very shaken up, there is no good reason readers need to join them there. Unless you want to. It's not easy reading and nothing key to solving the crime will occur there.

2. Photos of people with Madelung's disease can be found via Google.

3. Later, at that Washington appearance mentioned above, I asked Ms. Leon whether she was ever going to bring back Commissaria Claudia Griffoni, the only female detective at the Questura, who'd been introduced in "About Face" and was featured again in the next book after that. She said Griffoni would be back in the next one (ie this one). Unfortunately, that turns out to be something of a stretch: When Patta hands Brunetti the Madelung man case, he tells him to partner on it with Griffoni; Brunetti reminds him that Griffoni's in Rome taking a course in domestic violence, so Patta tells him to partner with Vianello instead. And that's all that readers will hear of Griffoni in "Beastly Things." (Addenda: Maybe Ms Leon's idea of "next" and mine differ, as Griffoni does show up in a sidekick role in the next two in the series after this, "The Golden Egg" and "By its Cover.")

4. Here's a chronological Brunetti book list, as of March 2014: "Death at La Fenice," "Death in a Strange Country" "Dressed for Death," "Death and Judgment," "Acqua Alta," "Quietly in Their Sleep," "A Noble Radiance, " "Fatal Remedies," "Friends in High Places," "A Sea of Troubles," "Willful Behavior," "Uniform Justice," "Doctored Evidence," "Blood from a Stone," "Through a Glass, Darkly" "Suffer the Little Children," "The Girl of His Dreams," "About Face," "A Question of Belief," "Drawing Conclusions," "Beastly Things," "The Golden Egg" and "By Its Cover." (Please note: Should you ever come across "The Anonymous Venetian," "A Venetian Reckoning" or "The Death of Faith" know that these are not new Leons; they're just the British titles of "Dressed for Death," "Death and Judgment" and "Quietly in Their Sleep.")

Note: The chronological list of Brunetti books inside the front cover of the hardback is missing the fifth book in the series, "Acqua Alta." Obviously a typo, as I checked and find it's still available in paperback on Amazon.
Golden freddi
As always, the engaging characters of the Venetian Questura and their families and friends provide a window looking onto life in Venice and its environs. And, as usual, our hero Commissario Guido Brunetti seeks not only the perpetrator of a crime, but also wrestles with a moral dilemma - this time it's the age-old question of the end justifying the means. Is the use of Signorina Electtra's considerable talents as a hacker and her equally considerable network of inside contacts and anonymous sources justified by the useful information she gleans?

Sometimes, the efforts of Brunetti, Vianello and Signorina Electtra (she of the stunning couture) do not result in a satisfying result, but in this book, the bad people are caught (and presumably punished, although in Italy, one never knows...) and Brunetti is at peace with the compromises that entails. I love this series, but found this book to be especially enjoyable.
Donna Leon's Commisario Guido Brunetti mystery series is one of the most delightful within the genre. The setting is Venice, always painstakingly and lovingly described. The detective, Brunetti, is an urbane, intelligent, slightly cynical man whose inner monologue serves as chorus, narration, and insightful undercurrent to the plot.

Beastly Things is one of the bloodiest Brunetti books, but the blood belongs to slaughterhouse animals, not people. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is squeamish about the way animals are mistreated for our rating pleasure. It's an interesting juxtaposition of motifs since part of the charm of series is the sensuous pleasure our detective takes in food and all things beautiful.

Once more, the actual crime is less important than the psychological dissection of the characters, and those who enjoy nail-biting action will probably not enjoy Brunetti's slower, more intellectual approach. But for fans of Ms Leon's charming, exquisitely Venetian version of the thinker's mystery, Beastly Things will not disappoint.
If you are a fan then you are expecting the unveiling of some socially reprehensible behaviour from an Italy that seems decadent and disengaged from what their ancestors had intented by surrounding them with art, sculpture, arichtecure and cuisine that is staggering in it's beauty and intelligence. This novel is not different it will physcially knock you off your pins awaken sorrow, pity and pragmastism, that comes of a culture that has survived for so long. The mystery is a good one, the moral highground is not overdone and Ms. Leon makes no pretention that what we learn will make dramatic changes in how we get through the day to day. But, the undercurrent is there the movement is active and the paradigm shift is in play. The comfort of what we know is now the discomfort of having turned a blind eye, of de gausing our moral compass in all that ancient civility and now our children remove themselves with a new awareness a hunger to survive by being responsible stewards of the world we inhabit and we are trying to bridge the transition and recognize for all that we know we can't escape greed and the violence it begets, We should shudder ...this is not an uplifiiting social commentary. It's a good story, again a lot of character development and some thin lines of evidence . It is not coherent, nor is it meant to be, Miss Leon always has a higher purpose, I could use a break and so should she, the poor comissario must be in need of medication and therapy by now and the Greeks will not be the ticket. Miss Leon needs to believe in hope not just hope for it.