By Donna Leon
April 18, 2023
The latest instalment from Donna Leon sees Brunetti engaged in a case that forces him to confront his past.
On a cold November evening, Guido Brunetti and Paola are up late when a call from his colleague Ispettore Vianello arrives, alerting the Commissario that a hand has been seen in one of Venice’s canals. The body is soon found, and Brunetti is assigned to investigate the murder of an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. Curiously, he had been living in a garden house in the grounds of a palazzo owned by a university professor, in which Brunetti discovers books revealing the victim’s interest in Buddhism, the revolutionary Tamil Tigers, and the last crop of Italian political terrorists, active in the 1980’s.
As the investigation expands, Brunetti struggles to assemble random clues about real estate, land use, books and university friendships. Until he stumbles over something that transports him back to his own student days, causing him to reflect on lost ideals and the errors of youth, on Italian politics and history, and on the accidents that sometimes lead to revelation.