DEATH AND JUDGMENT by Donna Leon
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DEATH AND JUDGMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A grim prologue sets the tone for Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti's fourth case (Dressed for Death, 1994, etc.) -- even though it takes quite a while to hook up the spectacularly fatal truck crash that opens the novel to the relatively quiet shooting, aboard a Venice-bound train, of former city Counsellor Carlo Trevisan. Brunetti's own teenaged daughter is only too eager to dig up dirt on her schoolmate's family -- mother Trevisan's horror when Francesca contracted herpes, both parents' long-standing fears that she might be kidnapped -- but Brunetti is stalemated until he connects the murder to the apparent suicide of Paduan accountant Rino Favero, who carried Trevisan's phone number but not his name. Taking a closer look at a disreputable bar both of these stolid businessman patronized -- and following the trail of a pair of eyeglasses left behind by Favero's last dinner companion -- Brunetti, again helped by his daughter, uncovers a plot that focuses the usual moral and governmental corruption endemic to Leon's Venice in a sharply painful way. Innocence corrupted in more ways than you can imagine. The first of Leon's books to knit together all her strengths: endearing detective, jaundiced social pathology, and a paranoid eye for plotting on a grand scale.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: HarperCollins