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The new novel from Donna Leon, the Sunday Times bestselling author of A Question of Belief
When Anna Maria Giusti returns from holiday to find her elderly neighbour Constanza Altavilla dead, with blood on the floor near her head, she immediately alerts the police. Commissario Brunetti is called to the scene and it seems the woman has suffered a fatal heart attack. Patta, the Vice-Questore, is eager to dismiss the case as a death from natural causes, but Brunetti believes that there is more to it. It soon transpires that there are some faint bruises around her neck and shoulders, indicating she may have been shaken. Could this have caused a heart attack? Was someone threatening her?
Meanwhile, Brunetti meets Signora Altavilla’s son, Niccolini, who tells him that since her retirement she had been helping out at a nearby nursing home. Brunetti visits the home with Ispettore Vianello to try and find any information that might be connected to the case. While they speak to those she spent the most time with, it appears that there is some hostility between the residents which raises Brunetti’s suspicions. Once again, he enlists the help of Signorina Elettra, who discovers that Signora Altavilla was involved with an organisation that helped women at risk, providing them with a safe house. Could this have something to do with her death?
As the investigation takes an unexpected twist in events, Brunetti needs to find out the truth before it gets buried within a community that seems to be slipping deeper and deeper into deception and lies.
About the Author
DONNA LEON has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; recently FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, BLOOD FROM A STONE, THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY and SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN.
"[Leon's] portrait of Venice and modern Italy is, as always, captivating...The lively conversations between...characters, displaying Leon's sly humour, are a delight." Evening Standard "With characteristic skill, Leon draws together multiple threads and a well-rounded cast ... With the steady, unsentimental style that has become her signature, Donna Leon keeps us hesitating until the last corner is turned." Times Literary Supplement "Leon's clear-eyed descriptions of Venice still make you long to return to the calles and campos of the floating city." Sunday Telegraph "More elegant, understated crime fighting from the mistress of La Serinissima...A welcome return to the comfortable characters and locations that her fans have come to love." Independent "[Leon] is a master at weaselling her way into the venal byways of human selfishness and laying them bare. ... There's a quietness to the crimes here that is more powerful than outlandish violence, and which points to the philosophical bedrock from which Leon so effectively works." Scottish Sunday Herald
Published: 1st April 2011
Dimensions (cm): 21.7 x 13.8 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.29