cover image Death and Judgement

Death and Judgement

Donna Leon. HarperCollins Publishers, $20 (289pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017796-6

The heady atmosphere of Venice and a galaxy of fully realized characters enrich this intriguing and finally horrifying tale, the fourth featuring Guido Brunetti, the stalwart and worldly Commissioner of Police in Venice. Shortly after the bodies of eight women are found near a truck that has been in a mountainside accident, Brunetti begins to investigate the shooting death of attorney Carlo Trevisan, counselor to influential industrialists and bankers. Two days later an accountant for politically active manufacturers is found murdered in his car. Both men, Brunetti discovers, had been placing calls to Eastern Europe, Ecuador and Thailand from a pay phone in a disreputable bar in Padua. Probing for more information, Brunetti relies on unique sources: his boss's secretary, who is particularly adept at using computers; a judge who owes him a favor; even his sergeant's wife, who raises gossip to an art form. Brunetti's wife, a professor of English, and his teenaged daughter offer invaluable aid. With consummate skill, Leon (Dressed for Death) gradually reveals the broad reaches of a corrupt network linking the privileged and powerful. (June)