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Blood from a Stone
by Donna Leon

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0871138875

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Blood from a Stone
Donna Leon
Atlantic Monthly, May 2005, $23.00
ISBN: 0871138875

In Venice, two men kill an illegal alien from Senegal, who was selling counterfeit designer luggage. The police shock the locals by “speedily” arriving at the crime scene in a half hour, but the American tourists who witnessed the homicide had already given up. Most of the evidence at least with resalable value like the African’s merchandise has been stolen from the Campo San Stefano Square where he was killed.

Commissario Guido Brunetti leads the official investigation and almost immediately believes it was a professional hit not just a robbery or an economic cleansing by storekeepers who complain about these foreign street peddlers. Brunetti also knows how his wife, a left wing professor, will lecture him that the crime is another example of the social malice and failures of the current system. The case will enable the Commissario to avoid much of her oration, but will send him into the dregs of Venice as he uncovers clues with the help of his computer hacking expert Elettra.

The Brunetti police procedural series provides some of the best the sub-genre offers combing a strong mystery with a deep social issue. The current tale focuses on the illegal immigrant problem impacting Italy and other western nations, but places the complexities within a delightful who-done-it. His family especially his spouse shows the Commissario is more than just a super cop. However, as always the star of Donna Leon’s latest thriller is Venice, a city the author pays homage to while her hero tramps it cold damp streets.

Harriet Klausner

 

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