13 Dec 2012
DRESSED FOR DEATH & A VENETIAN RECKONING.
DRESSED FOR DEATH/A VENETIAN RECKONING by DONNA LEON.
Commissario Brunetti's hopes of a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera - a body so badly beaten the face is unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse. But he is met with a wall of silence. Then he receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information. And before the night is out Brunetti is confronting yet another appalling and apparently senseless death.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The shoe was red, the red of London phone booths.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 200): Paola had been shaving her legs regularly since he knew her; she still cut herself when she did it. It seemed unlikely that a middle-aged man could achieve this feat with greater success than Paola and shave his legs without cutting them.
A lorry crashes on one of the treacherous bends in the Italian Dolomites, spilling a terrible cargo . . .
A prominent international layer is found dead in the carriage of an intercity train at Saint Lucia..
Can the two tragedies possibly be connected?
Commissario Guido Brunetti digs deep into the secret lives of the once great and good for the answer. For in a seedy Venetian bar lies the clue to an evil crime network reaching far beyond the laguna. But it will take another violent death in Venice before the forces of justice can even begin to proceed . . .
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): On the last Tuesday in September, snow fell for the first time in the mountains separating northern Italy from Austria, more than a month before it ordinarily be expected.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 76): They'd had their snouts in the public trough for decades, yet nothing seemed strong enough - not public rage, not an upwelling of national disgust - to sweep them from power.
MY THOUGHTS: Books 3 and 4 in the Brunetti series, though both books work well as stand-alone reads I do recommend they be read in order as a series.
Published here in the UK as The Anonymous Venetian (or was it merely reissued at a later date as this?), as always it is the descriptions of Venice, the food and the Commissario's relationships that make Dressed For Death as good a read as any of the crime element.
Possibly my favourite book in the series so far. Gripped right from the start, I enjoyed all the numerous twists and turns and loved all the ethical issues that the novel raised.
Sadly, quite the opposite was A Venetian Reckoning.
In my opinion one of the darkest stories in the series, whilst it was not too graphic compared to others of this genre it was never the less graphic enough and certainly, in places, too graphic for my tastes.
Lacking slightly in the usual elements of food and family relationships and with a plot that was even more meandering than I'd come to expect of the author I just felt the whole novel was lacking something that I can't quite put my finger on.