In this Inspector Brunetti, first published in , police Comissario Brunetti takes on an investigation after getting a visit from a young employee of the government agency that oversees building permits. He is following up on a letter that Brunetti had received that was so full of government gibberish that he gave up on it. Now the young man is telling him that there's a problem with the apartment he and his wife bought 12 years before. Apparently it was built atop a 15th century building In this Inspector Brunetti, first published in , police Comissario Brunetti takes on an investigation after getting a visit from a young employee of the government agency that oversees building permits.
Apparently it was built atop a 15th century building shortly after WWII without the permits. During their "closing," Brunetti and his wife signed documents without looking at them closely. Now they could be forced to actually tear the apartment down. A few days later the young man calls him about a problem. Brunetti tells him to come to his office. However, he never shows up and is later found dead at the bottom of some scaffolding at a building he was inspecting.
Of course nothing is as it appears. Soon Brunetti is following a trail of drugs, money lending, money laundering and more. Unlike many of the books, this one has a very satisfactory ending from the point of view of justice anyway. Leon loves Italy despite the corruption. Then again, who are we in the US to cast the first stone? Jul 12, Sue rated it did not like it. I picked up this book in a charity shop as part of an offer - 5 paperbacks for 1 so I suppose I only paid 20p for it but, seemingly like many of the Venetians in the story, I was robbed. I kept waiting for the plot to thicken but it never did and the only way it could be described as a page turner is because the print is so big.
I found the constant references to corruption, apathy and incompetence amongst the officialdom of Italy rather depressing and if this is truly the state of affairs I am surprised the author has lived in such a hopeless country for so long.
There was no depth to the characters although I did get a fleeting glimpse into the relationship between the central character and his wife but not enough to form an opinion about them. Definitely did not leave me either on the edge of my seat or wanting more. Jun 26, Sara Van Dyck rated it liked it Shelves: fict-lmnop. The plot is lightweight, but what I like about this book is probably true of other Commissario Brunetti mysteries, the atmosphere and setting: Venice, campos, and sliding down the canals.
I also enjoy the complicated psychological and ethical considerations, especially facing the reality that The plot is lightweight, but what I like about this book is probably true of other Commissario Brunetti mysteries, the atmosphere and setting: Venice, campos, and sliding down the canals.
I really like the Commissario Brunetti series, but this one felt much colder than the others I've read. The children hardly appear, and the relationship between Guido and Paola, which is usually presented with great warmth and humor, is barely mentioned.
And the end is disappointing. He usually finds some way to get to all the evildoers, but that doesn't happen here. Mar 08, Jack Heath marked it as to-read Shelves: category-mystery , prize-silver-dagger. Synopsis: a bureaucrat rings Brunetti at work, clearly scared. Later he's found dead after a fall from scaffolding. Something is going on. Jun 22, Dianne Landry rated it really liked it Shelves: guido-brunetti.
I continue to really enjoy this series. Mar 02, ElaineY rated it it was ok. I enjoy spending time with Brunetti and his wife but this installment was made full by a rather pedestrian plot. Corruption in Italy?
With regards to building permits? Double yawn. Feb 27, John McDonald rated it it was amazing. This might be the best of the Commissario Brunetti stories I've read so far I think this is the 7th , where the mystery is engaging and somewhat complex, and the characters of the characters we meet in each story are amplified in a way that the reader understands who each one really is. I continue to think that each of the regulars--Brunetti, Viannello, Electra, Paola, especially these--represent who Donna Leon really is.
Jan 01, Gerald Sinstadt rated it really liked it. Much crime fiction is transportable.
Change the names of the streets, adjust the thermometer, translate the ciao's and the auf widersehen's and the seeya's and the actual mechanics of the plot will often work as well in Rome as they do in Boston or Berlin. But not with Donna Leon's novels. Venice is more than a backdrop; the culture of the city is integral to the fabric of the story. For sure there are other corrupt communities in the world but perhaps none quite like the claustrophobic Much crime fiction is transportable.
For sure there are other corrupt communities in the world but perhaps none quite like the claustrophobic backscratching that lies not far beneath the surface of La Serenissima.
Commissario Guido Brunetti seems only to half understand it himself. This is a very human policeman whose family environment is easy to recognise, underpinned as it is by warmth and love but still with its moments of unthinking hurt. Given that Donna Leon's touch is light and her prose unfussy, her success is no mystery. There would have been a fifth star for Friends in High Places but for the fact that it too is, almost literally, no mystery. Brunetti patiently unravels a crime that impinges on drug trafficking but ultimately stems from corruption in the civic financial offices.
The Commissario is assisted by a handful of contacts better informed than he, not to mention a secretary whose ability to extract private financial and legal records almost instantly must be unique in Italy, never mind Venice. Yet the murderer who eventually emerges in the last thirty pages is no one who has figured in the previous three hundred.
And if the shooting of a lawyer in Ferrara is ever explained, I fear I missed it.
That is not necessarily a fault but this tale takes life's natural untidiness a little too far. If not for the plot, enjoy it for the people and the place. They are certainly worth four stars. Feb 12, Toni Osborne rated it really liked it. Also under the title "The Dark Side of Venice" The ninth book in the Guido Brunetti series One day, Commissario Brunetti is visited by Franco Rossi, a young bureaucrat concerned about the lack of official approval to build his apartment years before.
There are no existing plans for this addition in the registry's office; in fact, on record, the flat was never built. The Brunetti family fears a blackmail scenario, resulting in demolition or an enormous fine even though the original construction Also under the title "The Dark Side of Venice" The ninth book in the Guido Brunetti series One day, Commissario Brunetti is visited by Franco Rossi, a young bureaucrat concerned about the lack of official approval to build his apartment years before.
The Brunetti family fears a blackmail scenario, resulting in demolition or an enormous fine even though the original construction was done years ago and the legal aspect was duly notarised. After months of anxiety and a lack of follow-up from the registry's office it comes to Brunetti attention that Rossi has been found dead.
With an interest on more than one level, the detective looks into the young man's work life and discovers an underworld link to drugs and loan-sharking. At the same time, Brunetti's boss Patta reveals his personal problems in relation to the world of drug dealers, thugs and crooks..
Ms Leon successfully plays with the idea that corrupt practices breed more corruption. This is a very good read, written in a simple language with the odd Italian word to accentuate the atmosphere. The returning characters are well drawn; Brunetti and his wife are the same likable couple maintaining balance between their working life and their family life. What is an Italian story without food, the author never lets us down and her description is so vivid you can almost smell the aroma.
There are no existing plans for this addition in the registry's office; in fact, on record, the flat was never built. At the rate I am going, it will be years before I can legitimately read number twenty-eight. Add to Your books. And once again we get to visit with the Brunetti family as they sit down each day to one of their simple but delicious meals, all described in loving detail. Is he acting in an official or unofficial capacity? Commissario Guido Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat investigating the lack of official approval for the building of his apartment years earlier.
This is another well done book in her series. It's all in who you know. Venice is much like Chicago in that regard. This is the 9th book in the series, and proves to be just as entertaining as the previous eight. But when the bureaucrat rings him at work, clearly scared by some This is the 9th book in the series, and proves to be just as entertaining as the previous eight.
But when the bureaucrat rings him at work, clearly scared by some information he plans to give Brunetti, and is then found dead after a fall from scaffolding, something is clearly going on that has implications rather greater than the fate of Guido's own apartment. I love the backdrop of this city that Donna Leon uses for her mysteries, every nuance gives you that much more of a glimpse into life in this Italian city.
A mystery is much more than just who-dunnit All of this, for me, is found in Leon's books. May 15, Karen rated it did not like it.
As a fan of crime thrillers I looked forward to reading a Venetian one, but alas I was disappointed. I found the characters undeveloped and the plot rather weak and meandering, with dead ends and unresolved crimes. Brunetti was an untypical detective without the usual personal problems and crises that normally accompany such characters.