Jenn's Reviews > Death in a Strange Country

Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon
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's review
Feb 04, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, mystery, novel, read-2010
Read in February, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Donna Leon isn't the world's best writer. She repeats herself, and her characters mention the obvious too many times. But she does well at constructing not only complex mysteries but at grounding them in Venice, where her leading detective, Commissario Brunetti, is an honest man among, well, not always thieves, but certainly gangsters.

In this book, the second in the on-going series, Brunetti investigates the death of an American serviceman found dead in Venice. The crime leads him to the military base in Vicenza and eventually (unsurprisingly) into the heart of a conspiracy.

What lifts this book out of obscurity is its lack of predictability -- perhaps not in the mechanics of the mysteries (the Commissario's two crimes merge at the end), but in its ending. Not all of the criminals get away with their crimes here -- some authorial intervention takes care of that -- but in the larger sense, nothing is solved at the end of this mystery.


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