This is the latest in Donna Leon’s beloved mystery series set in Venice. The American has spent thirty years in Venice and her fans will recognize not only her sharp portrait of Commissario Guido Brunetti and his family, but the haunting beauty of Leon’s chosen city and the up-close lives of people she has come to know.
The case Brunetti is asked to solve is a touching one. A young girl, unable to swim, fell into a canal late at night. She was drowning when a nearby man, an alcoholic, pulled her out and saved her. By that time she had suffered brain damage which left her unable to develop and grow up. The man said he saw someone throw her into the water, but the next day he couldn’t remember anything about it.
Brunetti stuck to the case and it has a surprising ending. This is Donna Leon’s thirtieth book. She now divides her time between Venice and Switzerland. It is hard to believe we won’t hear from Commissario Brunetti again.
Reviewed by Anne McDougall