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Beastly Things (Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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"Beastly Things" opens at the morgue, with Brunetti looking at the newly arrived and odd-bodied corpse that had just been pulled out of the canal with three knife wounds in his back and no identification on him, while Rizzardi, the coroner, explains most interestingly the man's rare condition. It will then take quite a while for Brunetti and Vianello to discover who the victim was, but eventually they learn he was not a Venetian, but a man from the nearby inland town of Mestre. In short order their investigation will center on a slaughterhouse and what appears to be some nefarious goings-on there.
As longtime Leon fans will know, up until "Drawing Conclusions" the Brunetti novels all featured two concurrent cases.Read more ›
In this latest Commissario Brunetti mystery, Beastly Things, we learn about slaughterhouses and the meat processing industry. A visit to the slaughterhouse leaves even toughened cops Brunetti and Inspector Vianello speechless. And while they don't actually skip lunch afterward, they both opt for vegetarian sandwiches.
Beastly Things doesn't stand out among Leon's mysteries, but it is a dependable police procedural that keeps the murder in the forefront throughout. Some of her recent books have concentrated more on issues of the day rather than the mystery.
Of interest apart from the case itself were some apparent doubts expressed by Vianello and Brunetti as they once again turned to the Questura's (police headquarters) secretary, Signorina Elettra, to hack into databases they have no legal right to access. They wonder if they rely too much on Elettra's technical wizardry. Leon herself might have been asking the question of herself, at least as it regards the solutions to many of her mysteries, which often rely on Signorina Elettra's unofficial discoveries. Even as a reader, I wonder if I would be as amused if the unpleasant Lieutenant Scarpa or if Brunetti himself were doing the hacking? Elettra is such an engaging character that I look forward to her hacking exploits.
It's no coincidence that Leon has Brunetti's English professor wife, Paola, tussling with an ethical dilemma of her own. Not surprisingly, Paola comes to a decision that will allow her to sleep at night. Brunetti, once again forced to choose between doing the right thing and the legal thing, doesn't have that luxury.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
When he discovers that the dead man worked for an abattoir and ran a clinic for pet animals he sets Signorina Elettra to work on finding out whether there could be a connection between either of his jobs and his death. What he finds shocks him to the core and overturns some of his long held beliefs.
The scenes at the abattoir are very well done and show how less is more if you want readers to realise the full horror of a situation. Both Brunetti and Vianello are stunned and rendered speechless for quite a while by what they see and hear. These scenes and the ending redeem this book in my opinion as they are extraordinarily well written.
I have found the environmental messages contained in the plots of the last few books in the series to be a little too much to the fore for my taste. I have continued to read because I enjoy reading about Venice and I find the development of the series characters to be well done. I think Brunetti's family life is well drawn and I especially like his wife Paola with her fiercely held principles, her academic career and her attention to domestic details.
I would recommend this excellent series to anyone who likes their crime novels with added depth and a background which the reader can almost taste, hear, see and smell.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good mystery. Very political subject which I enjoy. Personal attitudes or struggles of characters interesting. Ethereal.Published 2 months ago by Wilber Earl, Mr
Enjoyed this as much as other Donna Leon books that I have read, interesting subject matter and well writtenPublished 3 months ago by Barbara McLay
Leon is an American living in Venice so it makes sense that she has a unique ability to describe the Italian locale perfectly while still appealing to English speaking readers. Read morePublished 6 months ago by kleaspop
I love Donna Leon and am glad that she took this subject.Published 6 months ago by Dr. Sarah B Stewart
Very moving. At times distressingly evocative as Brunetti and Vianello investigate a horrid scene and attempt to recover from their experience. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jake Stanley