Sunday, 20 June 2010

Donna Leon: Brunetti 18 - About Face

At a dinner party given by his parents-in-law Comissario Brunetti meets Franca Marinello, the wife of a prosperous Venetian businessman. He’s charmed by Signora Marinello's love of Virgil and Cicero, but shocked by her appearance. A few days later, Brunetti is visited by Carabinieri Maggiore Filipo Guarino, who wants information about the owner of a trucking company found murdered in his offices. Soon after that he himself is dead. Was he killed because he got too close? And how is it that Franca Marinello has often been seen in company of the suspect, a vulgar man with Mafia connections and a violent past?

Rather typical of any Donna Leon crime fiction, this was an entertaining and distracting read, and as usual Brunetti and his wife Paola are likeable and interesting. The usual cast of the Venetian police, Patta, Scarpa, Vianello and Pucetti add to the delightful mix of characters. However, for me this was the first Leon novel, where the solution and denouement were disappointing and left me wanting more detail and more of a conclusion.

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