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  • Donna Leon - Transient Desires

    Two young women, tourists in Venice, are found severely wounded in front of a hospital one late night. Luckily, with the help of video surveillance they can quickly find out the two men who put them there. But which did they abandon them even though they first provided help? As commissario Brunetti investigates the case together with his colleague Claudia Griffoni, they happen to link one of the men to another crime of which the police only have a faint idea so far, but this might be their breakthrough. Whenever I take up a Donna Leon novel on commissario Brunetti, I know what I will get: a crime story which is solved not by some miraculously appearing deus ex machina, but by meticulous police work combined with the protagonist’s clever instinct and the ability to read people and to actually listen to them. Apart from that, it is always like some kind of bookish holiday to travel to the Venetian Lagoon and to delve into its very unique atmosphere. The thirtieth instalment in the series does not disappoint in this respect. Quite interestingly, the crime with which the novel opens is quite quickly solved and classified an accident and a series of unfortunate events and decisions. Yet, it is only the beginning of a real crime – a crime of the sort nobody wants to know about and people eagerly close their eyes on. This time, it is Brunetti’s colleague who stirs the investigation and the commissario not only gets to know her from an unknown side but also learns that Griffoni’s hometown of Naples could also be on another planet that different life works there. A plot driven by interesting and strongly painted characters, just the sort of entertainment one knows Donna Leon to provide.

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  • Transient Desires

    Once again, Donna Leon has written a really good criminal investigation novel with Guido Brunetti as the main character. Her descriptions of Venice come alive so that you can imagine the sounds, smells and visual scenes as you read. Brunetti’s character is well drawn in both his work and personal life. I’ve read all of Donna Leon’s novels featuring Comissario Brunetti and always sad when I get to the end because I know I’ll have to wait another 12 months before her next book.

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