Blood from a Stone (2005), Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates a murder on Murano, the famed island of glassmakers, in Leon's assured 15th m"/>
 

Through a Glass Darkly

Donna Leon, Author
Donna Leon, Author . Atlantic Monthly $23 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87113-937-5
Reviewed on: 03/13/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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Last seen in Blood from a Stone (2005), Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates a murder on Murano, the famed island of glassmakers, in Leon's assured 15th mystery starring the cynical yet diligent Venetian policeman. Has a worker, found singed to death in front of a blazing furnace, been killed because of his environmental activism? Or is this a family feud between the factory's owner and his "green" engineer of a son-in-law? As usual, Leon educates the reader about the charms and corruptions of Italian life (the sensuality of the architecture and food, the indolence and stagnation of its bureaucracies), besides presenting a crash course in 21st-century glass-making. Every character, every line of dialogue, every descriptive passage rings true in a whodunit that's also travel essay, political commentary and existential monologue. And the middle-aged, happily married Brunetti remains unique—an everyman who's also extraordinary: "During his early years as a policeman... people still argued about whether it was right or wrong to use force during an interrogation.... Now they argued about how much pain they could inflict." (May)

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