by Donna Leon
Commissario Guido Brunetti is in an uncharacteristically sullen mood as we encounter him in the opening pages of the thirtieth installment of Donna Leon’s award-winning series. Is it because he laments the trajectory of his life, based on last night’s meeting with old friends? Perhaps he’s reached the tipping point with his children who take him so much for granted? Or is it the endless line of tourists who seek to swallow up everything good about the city he loves? Whatever the cause it foreshadows the horrendous events that are about to consume most of his time and energy.
Two women, with multiple injuries, are found unconscious on the dock outside the emergency room of the Ospedale Civile early in the morning. It’s determined that their injuries are the result of a boating accident while they were joy riding with two young Italian men. But why abandon them when it was just an accident?
As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, continue their investigation they encounter the very darkest side of criminal behaviour and the most heinous of crimes.