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Suffer the Little Children (Commissario Brunetti #16)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,038 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
The quiet of the Venetian night is shattered as a band of
armed men smash their way into Dr Gustavo Pedrolli's
apartment, fracture his skull and grab his eighteen-month-old baby. And when Commissario Guido Brunetti, pulled from bis bed by the news, arrives at the hospital to investigate, no one knows why the eminent pediatrician has suffered such a violent assault.
But soon B
Paperback, 342 pages
Published March 6th 2008 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 07, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle

It's been a very long time since I've read a novel by Donna Leon. For a while there I read every novel in the Brunetti series when it was released. At some stage I missed one, and suddenly Leon had written five more books without me noticing. So it was good to re-acquaint myself with the series and realise that Leon can still give me reading pleasure.

Brunetti is a refreshingly uncomplicated detective. He's not a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, he doesn't suffer from the effects of psycholo
Mar 31, 2012 Katharine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
It's always a civilised pleasure to be back in Venice in the humane company of Brunetti. This book is in some ways more about the background and build up to a crime than it is about solving one and the novel almost leaves you with the question of where the greater crime has been committed. It is a sad book in many ways but as Brunetti investigates his life goes on in its usual routine with his wife Paola and their family life of shared meals, wine and books, which add warmth and normality to a d ...more
Pamela Mclaren
Apr 30, 2016 Pamela Mclaren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
An excellent story from Donn Leon. In this 16th story about Commissario Brunetti, the good police officer investigates the suspected assault of a respected pediatrician.But as he investigates further what he finds is a twisted type of evil where men make decisions that they have no business making and by doing so, ruin the lives of others. You will find it hard to put this book down and the ending is a true twist totally unexpected.
Mar 21, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars really. Beautifully plotted, incredibly sad.
There are some slow moments midway but the interweaving of the characters is marvelous.
The opening scene is unforgettable, as is the final scene.
Oct 07, 2010 Clara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ugh. was there a crime? wasn't there a crime? do we need to spend 200 pages finding out that no crime was really committed? really? for a murder mystery-type genre book shouldn't there be a crime??
Jun 11, 2015 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love this series. This one is not a whodunit in the classical way. Commisario Brunetti investigates events surrounding the illegal adoption of children by wealthy Venetian couples. Will those unwanted children be better off in an orphanage? This and many other questions are in Brunetti's mind while following up on possible leads to find out what really happened. It's not really his job, he does it for himself. All the rest of the usual characters are here - Brunetti's undercover sojourn w ...more
Bryan Higgs
I saw this book as a special for $1.99 in Kindle format, and decided to give this author's Commissario Brunetti another try. Can't beat the price!

It turns out that reading it in Kindle format has advantages. The book has lots of words in Italian (or perhaps Venetian dialect), and I can select the word and Kindle will give me a meaning and/or translation. I used that a lot. In fact, the book focused a lot on using Italian/Venetian words, especially for food. It seems to me that Brunetti eats well
Nov 24, 2013 Loraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Babies for sale via illegal adoptions . . . the situation becomes known to Brunetti as the result of a well-respected pediatrician being beaten by the national police during a raid on parents whose children have been adopted> in this manner. There are no murders in this story, just craven behavior--elite couples struggling with infertility who purchase infants from the poor, sometimes exploited. Wealth has its privileges. And it would seem everything is for sale, even new borns. Brunetti expl ...more
Kat Hagedorn
Mar 09, 2010 Kat Hagedorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery

While this book isn't as stunning as her previous one (Through a Glass, Darkly), it is still about a zillion times better than most mystery series, at least most contemporary ones.

Why is it that most mystery authors begin to decline by about their 3rd or 4th book and it becomes unbearable to read anything by them ever again? Not so at all with Leon. It's as if her thoughtful police commissioner, not always the sharpest tack, becomes more interesting from novel to novel.
Jan 06, 2008 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: Audubon Book Club Selection
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2011 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#16 Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery set in Venice, Italy. Guido is called out in the middle of the night because the Carabinieri have done a raid on a prominent pediatrician's home and busted him for adopting a child illegally. The wife called the police since she had no idea what was happening, so Guido's team showed up only to find the invaders WERE the police...but they had not been pre-informed by the Carabinieri of the impending raid, as is standard procedure.

The doctor was beaten, the
Dec 11, 2015 Dany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting topic of discussion. Illegal adoptions, people who want to be parents buy children from people who don't want them. What happens after they're busted? Where do the kids go? Their birth parents don't want them back, a foster home is most likely their destiny. Sometimes, "the right thing" is not the right thing at all.
Suffer the Little Children

Donna Leon continues to write novels that put the reader inside the story. Amazing. Can't wait until the next one.
Nov 29, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worth addition to the Brunetti series, with strong characters, moral ambiguity, and a very unusual situation that generates hatred and misunderstanding, but (unusual for a mystery) not murder. Many fans read this series for little more than the enjoyment of spending time with Brunetti and his wife, Paola, and they will not be disappointed in this one. Donna Leon has been trying for years, with varying degrees of success, to avoid the genre requirements of murder, clear guilt, and appropriate p ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To begin with, I have to confess that I love Venice. So any story that takes place there is likely to please me. Also, I love a good whodunit. Nothing's better for curling up with and relaxing. Still, Donna Leon's stories have something special. Maybe it's her detective, Commissario Brunetti. He's an extremely wise and cool person. A murder mystery's effectiveness depends on the personality of the detective, and Brunetti is extremely simpatico. Maybe it's the way her ripped-from-the-E.U.-headlin ...more
Judith Pembleton
Feb 21, 2013 Judith Pembleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The corruption of all forms of governance in Venice is described time and again in Donna Leon's books. What saves the books from driving the reader to despair is the loving description of Commissario Guido Brunetti's personal moral compass which allows him to find ways to bring justice within a society that appears to have abandoned this pillar of society, possibly prior to written history. The man and his family - their love of food and one another - are the elements that warm the heart.
I have recently been part of a group of volunteers who took six riders with disabilities on a riding holiday to http://www.clwydspecialridingcentre.o... They have a book shelf there that is filled to brim to help raise money for the centre, and I think they did quite well out of us while we were there.

I was drawn to this book after reading the back, although the subject matter was potentially going to make tough reading. After a couple of days of contemplating, I decided to bring it home (along
Dana Clinton
Jun 13, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 16th installment of the Inspector Guido Brunetti series, and another good one. It has layers that are artfully deployed, and an ending which is not what you expect, even though once again we have ugly human behavior which the reader understands (as in you are quite sure you know the guilty parties) and knows that such behavior will go without any official resolution. And as always, it raises interesting ethical questions, too. The main line of the story concerns a pediatrician whose ...more
Welwyn Katz
Oct 24, 2010 Welwyn Katz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Leon is a wonderful writer, but I feel she is losing somewhere the ability to make us smile in spite of all the darkness. Brunetti loves Venice, he loves his family, he cares about at least two of his colleagues, but none of that can balance the evil he has begun dwelling on in the human soul. There is no light side. When someone writes as well as Leon, it's hard to read her books when one after another is so full of darkness. four stars
May 13, 2016 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A vacation book, which means my mind was otherwise engaged most of the time and it took me longer than usual to get through this book. However, there is one complaint -- and not against Leon, but because of what I consider 'ragged' editing. Once, maybe twice, when the exceptionally obvious erroneous use of "Marvilli" for "Marcolini" might be excused, but pages of this is irritating. This is not Leon's problem, however, but I surmise happened further down the line -- say in the printing room and ...more
Ted Graham
Apr 23, 2016 Ted Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brunetti continues to grow as one of my all-time favorite detective characters. I came to the conclusion this time around, that this wonderful fictional character would be a great intellectual pleasure to be around. I think I will be sad when I catch up to the present in the series and I'm left waiting for another story to read.
Of course, as has become usual with books in the series, I am left with some craving to explore some wonderful sounding new food or drink. This time it's Crespelle.
As f
Brenda Mengeling
Oct 15, 2015 Brenda Mengeling rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, ebook, 51
I usually love the Guido Brunetti mysteries by Donna Leon. But in Suffer the Little Children, Leon appears to just be phoning it in. The beginning and end each consist of a police interview written essentially as a script. At the beginning it works reasonably well, at the end it is a boring, lackluster disaster. It's a very realistic plot: more society at work going horribly wrong based upon poor information that creates a downward spiral with people making ever worse choices than a criminal mas ...more
Norbert P
A case of illegal adoption with a lot of money involved in it on the one side and a sense for correctness and morality on the other. The title is misleading since actually only one child probably has to suffer but this is not at the discussion of this mistery. Again beautifully set in the heart of Venice this book captures the reader with its wonderful descriptions of the town and again he, who most possibly has at least been once in Venice, feels like murder has taken place in his own surroundi ...more
Mar 20, 2010 Bernie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals with the diffcult subject of couples who can't have children, the lengths they go to to have a child and the unforseen aftermath. There is also a second story line involving misuse of medical records.
Jun 19, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this series. I love the characters and the history of Venice. I frankly had no idea how corrupt the country was until I read these books. During further research it is worse than it appears in the books. It is tragic that people are stuck under such a regime and it doesn't matter what party is in power. Having said that the plots have such wonderful human interest stories behind them. Lastly, the food! OMG sometimes I just drool when the family is eating dinner. Also how won ...more
I've been reading the Brunetti series for almost 16 years now and I am therefore a little bit biased. Each time I start reading a book of the series I am just back in such a familiar setting (in my head the Brunetti's live in the most cozy, beautiful little flat ever imaginable) that I feel right at home. The storyline of this book didn't have a lot of depth and there are some parts of the story that felt a bit naive to me. Maybe I've read to many Andrew Vachss books, but the thought of people b ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read, and rated, another mystery by this author, About Face. I thought that book was a bit hard to get into but well worthwhile. Further, I turned my hardcover copy into an altered book, a visual treatise on faces. This book is just as good, and now that I am used to the style, easier to get into. From what I can tell, it captures the flavor of a Venice I will never visit, and the subtleties behind the scenes that I am even less likely to be exposed to. What can be done about righteous actions ...more
Chris Witkowski
Aug 31, 2014 Chris Witkowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite so far of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti tales, this novel is fully a mystery, rather than her usual social commentary with a mystery mixed in. The story involves the sad fate of a kindly pediatrician who, faced with the fact he was unable to have children, manages to " adopt" a baby through illegal means. His crime is discovered but just how the authorities are tipped off is a big surprise. The book also contains an ingenious plot involving a pharmacist with an overactive sense o ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mother reads many of Donna Leon's books, so I thought I'd give this one a whirl when I found it as an audiobook at my library. Commissario Brunetti is a very different sort of cop than Eve Dallas (Nora Robert's In Death series), but an interesting one nonetheless. As he lets the bad guys talk themselves into a corner, he just listens, more often than not over a coffee, and then hands them over to be dealt with. While Brunetti won't replace Dallas in my book, I will be listening to more of his ...more
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Donna Leon (born September 29, 1942, in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for over twenty-five years. She has worked as a lecturer in English Literature for the University of Maryland University College - Europe (UMUC-Europe) in Italy, then as a Professor
More about Donna Leon...

Other Books in the Series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)
  • Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2)
  • Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3)
  • Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)
  • Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5)
  • Quietly in Their Sleep (Commissario Brunetti, #6)
  • A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti, #7)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)

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“You really love to gossip, don't you?” he asked, wishing she had brought him a glass of wine.
“Yes, I suppose I do,” she answered, sounding surprised at the realization. “You think that's why I love reading novels so much?”
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