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In this third novel featuring Guido Brunetti, a body is found so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches the city for someone who can identify the dead man and finds himself confronting another appalling and senseless death.
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"[One of] the real charms of this series [is] the endearing character of Brunetti and his compassionate insights into the heart of Venice and the soul of its people. Here is a man so decent that he reads the Annals for bracing blasts of Tacitus' 'fierce, uncompromising morality, ' but so unsanctimonious that he is perpetually on the lookout for 'the ugliest Christ Child in Western art.' Truly, a refreshing hero."--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review"Despite the gruesome way in which this murder, and subsequent ones, take place, it's really a cheery, breezy mystery, filled with good humor and adventure. The ending can only leave the reader waiting avidly for the next time we meet Brunetti and his lively friends and cohorts."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Leon delivers her plot in an unassuming, graceful and beautifully paced prose that hides its measured elegance. This is procedural writing at its best, made more interesting still by the Venetian setting. The light comedy and family banter grounds the issues of social disintegration that are the real subject, as Leon takes advantage of her story to comment obliquely about AIDS, the unadmitted gay world that shadows Italian machismo, and the ways altruism and morality blanket greed and corruption."--The Washington Post "Richly evocative. . . .Venice takes on a deep noir tint in Leon's latest well-crafted work."--Publishers Weekly "One of the most appealing of recent detectives, Brunetti stars in a case that brings out his canniness and his compassion--and shows his creator spreading her wings more powerfully than ever."--Kirkus Reviews "Venice is a perfect backdrop for a crime novel and there can rarely have been one so compulsively readable."--Mail on Sunday (UK) "Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti is a very human cop, quiet but sensitive; and her Venetian atmosphere is beguiling."--The Times (UK)
The third novel in the highly popular Commissario Brunetti series
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