Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti)

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9780099474180: Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti)

On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a man is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death - fake handbags of every designer label - but they have seen nothing that might be of much help to the police.

When Commissario Brunetti arrives on the scene, he finds it hard to understand why anyone would murder an illegal immigrant. They have few social connections and little money; in-fighting is the obvious answer. But once Brunetti begins investigating this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake in the immigrant community...

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Review:

The latest of Donna Leon's novels about principled Venetian cop Brunetti, Blood from a Stone is one of her timeliest. Two mysterious white men carry out a professional hit on one of the Somali traders who illegally hawk counterfeit luggage in a local square, and for some reason, Brunetti's superiors are remarkably keen that the case be left unsolved. Is this mere casual institutional racism, or something even more sinister? Brunetti, like many other fictional policemen, has no particular gift for obedience to unreasonable orders, and has also a left-wing academic wife to prod his already active conscience. Donna Leon is not usually as political as she is here; this is one of her more biting thrillers in its indictment of international trade and the security state.

Brunetti has rarely been this melancholy--this is a thriller set in the dead of a Venice winter, and the cold, wet winds eat into our bones as we read. ---Roz Kaveney

Review:

"The fabulous Donna Leon" ( The Spectator)

"The thoughtful and charming [Brunetti] is on top form... His nicely balanced world...is cumulatively engrossing" ( Sunday Times)

"Donna Leon has a wonderful feel for the hidden evils that lie below the façade of the magical city" ( The Times)

"[Leon's] passion for all things Venetian - churches, palaces, statues and especially the food - comes over loud and clear... No one writes about the grey areas of life better" ( The Guardian)

"It would be simply perverse not to acknowledge the skill with which Leon has assembled these familiar elements... The reader comes to look forward to Paola's elegant Venetian lunches as much as Brunetti does...Comfort reading of the highest order" ( TLS)

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Leon, Donna
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