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The Temptation of Forgiveness

(Commissario Brunetti #27)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,447 ratings  ·  477 reviews
In the twenty-seventh novel in Donna Leon's bestselling mystery series, a suspicious accident leads Commissario Guido Brunetti to uncover a longstanding scam with disturbing unintended consequences

The memorable characters and Venetian drama that have long captivated Donna Leon’s many readers are on full display in The Temptation of Forgiveness. Surprised, if not dismayed,
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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3.90  · 
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 ·  4,447 ratings  ·  477 reviews

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Andrew Smith
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 27th book I’ve read in this delightful series, so by now I know what to expect. The usual cast will be present and there will be a crime – of course, it’s a crime fiction series – and there will be social comment too. The crime sometimes plays quite a small part in the overall piece and at other times it’s at the forefront of the tale. Here I was over half way through and I still wasn’t sure if a crime had actually been committed. In time it became clear that one had, but here the il ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I have been very fond of this series, but this was not up to par in my estimation. The characters seemed flawed, the mystery was somewhat chaotic and confusing, and the ending was abrupt. Some parts of it were rather boring while others were less amusing or interesting than the Leon I know and love. It still kept my attention and Brunetti found his answers, but it seemed as though everyone involved was a bit cranky and/or argumentative. It was an average, but not redemptive, read.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m a Brunetti addict, but sometimes the endless detail is just padding. I think Leon wants the reader to proceed at the same measured. thoughtful pace as Brunetti, hence the noting of every hand movement, sideways glance, sitting posture for every character.

Furthermore, while I once found Elettra’s hacking clever and comical, we are now living In a world where it’s all too close to home. To me, she has become sinister, not a dea ex machina.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Challenging device in use while out of country, but must note this may be a favorite of the series. How beautiful it can be to enter the thinking of a loved character as well as the serenity and security of his personal life.
Can not conquer itsy keyboard. Update after return home. Great read!
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Love the characters as always and the lovely descriptions of Venice. BUT, the series seems to be wearing out.

Where would Brunetti be without Signorina Elettra and her computer skills?
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Guido Brunetti is following the most usual police work for any city. It's an assault with resultant severe to possibly fatal injury to a man who has fallen over a railing and down a bridged overpass. He (the victim) is a husband too to one of Paola's teaching co-workers, the Professor of Architect Design. Other than a domestic (and could this BE one)- it's the most common thieving grab or revenge or drunken brawl type of occurrence. How did he fall? Why are there marks on his wrist as if from fi ...more
First Sentence: Having left the apartment smack on time so as to arrive at the Questura on time for a meeting with his superior, Brunetti found himself seated toward the rear of a Number One vaporetto, glancing idly through a copy of that morning’s Gazzettino.

Commissario Guido Brunetti is approached by a co-worker of his wife asking his help in stopping the people she thinks may be selling drugs to her son. Unfortunately, there is really nothing he can do. When her husband, Tullio Gasparini, is
Jim Angstadt
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Temptation of Forgiveness (Commissario Brunetti #27)
Donna Leon

The subtitle: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

This is a very enjoyable series. Not so much as a mystery, but more about life, it's meaning, our ruminations about it. When good or bad things happen, how do/should we deal with it? The title speaks to this question. When something is "wrong" but it was done for a "right" reason, we can be uneasy about our path forward.
Holly Socolow
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
At one point in this tale, Commissario Brunetti and his wife, Paola, are speaking about the folly of fiction. How it has pat endings that don't happen in real life. Brunetti quips that "fiction is fiction," which Paola thinks is hilarious. I'm wondering if that was the structure of this book, as I found the ending unsatisfactory. The story itself was meandering, with many loose ends, and it seemed like Leon was making it up as she went. One plot line was never resolved at all. I was waiting for ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, italy, fiction
Too many tourists in Venice. The Italian government is corrupt and ineffectual. Billions of euros wasted on flood control gates that will never work. Cruise ships in Venice. These are the things that Leon doesn't like this time. Not exactly the Donna Leon of twenty years ago, who aimed her guns at the mafia, at fascists, at polluters, at the military. At least we can be grateful that she doesn't suggest that Lega Nord maybe has a point, as she did in the previous novel.

Whatever. We all get old.
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would not recommend this one for someone who isn't already familiar with the Commissario Guido Brunetti series. For those who know the stately pace of Donna Leon's mysteries and the often inconclusive endings, this is still a novel that might get very different reactions. I enjoyed it, but I also wonder if there's some kind of reckoning in the near future, regarding the increasing dependence of Brunetti's team on the extra-legal computer hacking by Signorina Elettra.

Brunetti seems unusually la
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As always, the incomparable Donna Leon provides another satisfying mystery and general commentary on life, Venetian and otherwise, featuring her longstanding protagonist Commissario Guido Brunetti. Leon writes with a philosophical, wry, dark tone that well suits the intricacies of Italian life, politics, and culture. Where else will you find a police commissioner reading the plays of Sophocles and musing about their meaning or commenting on Argumentum ad Absurdum at work? These stories (this is ...more
Kenneth Iltz
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I read EARTHLY REMAINS last year and was reminded how much I liked Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti books. My opinion changed after reading THE TEMPTATION OF FORGIVENESS.
I thought that the book (#27 in the series) was a patchwork put together to meet a publishing deadline. The plot wound around issues and people unrelated to the plot. The pharmacy scam that is central to discovering the culprits was a little thin and bizarre. Let's hope that Donna Leon does a better job on her next book.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mcn
3/7/18 Full review tk. I wanted to like this a lot more than I ultimately did.

9/2/18 Ha, wow, I didn't realize I'd get this many likes from a one-line review, so here's the full thing I wrote for work, if you're interested: My main criticism otherwise had to do with the undertones of xenophobia I felt in the text, which made me uncomfortable enough to not want to read more of the author. Perhaps if I need to for work, perhaps it will be better. Here's hop
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti has another puzzling case, this one involving drugs. Is someone selling drugs in an exclusive local private school? Is there some irregularity involving the drugs sold at a certain pharmacy to elderly Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients? And what really happened to the man found with severe head injuries on a bridge at the dead of night? Donna Leon crafts another well-written mystery, a must-read for fans of both the series and of Venice.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Guido Brunetti is a thoughtful, compassionate, and even-tempered man, who is well-read and curious about human behavior. Even he might admit that his job as Commissario di Polizia in Venice is not particularly taxing. Brunetti relies heavily on the expertise of the incomparable Signora Elletra Zorzi, who apparently can hack into any database at will. When Brunetti needs medical, employment, or financial records, many of which are confidential, the commissario asks Signorina Elletra for help, and ...more
The Book Shelf
I love this mystery series. I love the way that Donna Leon writes about her characters and their relationship with each other and I love how she writes about Venice. She paints a picture of this lovely city that makes you want to sit and watch the people as they come and go about their lives. She describes both the city's charms and its shortfalls. Her stories are written to engage the reader in the process of figuring out who is the culprit and who is the victim. Hope she writes many more.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another good one from Donna Leon. No repulsive villains here...just "ordinary" people doing their best to live, one way or another, in the swamp of Italy. As long as there is football on television, no one pays much attention to the swamp. Brunetti "glanced at the headlines on a copy of the Gazzettino and was puzzled by how familiar it all sounded until he glanced at the date and saw that it was yesterday's edition. He closed it, wondering how it was that every issue could contain at least eight ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have bought every one of Donna Leon's Superintendent Brunetti books and have never regretted a purchase. In this book, once again, our hero solves a crime or several crimes while enjoying the beauties of his home city Venice along with food and his family. Once again too, we are confronted by the corruption of the Italian government as well as many of its citizens.
I was struck by the following passage - I don't think quoting it gives anything away:
The contract's been broken, between us and th
Vera 4theloveofwords
I've read all 26 earlier Commissario Brunetti novels and I've loved them all. So when number 27 came out I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Imagine my dismay when I discovered I didn't get along with it at all. It bored me almost to death. It felt greyish and chaotic. Too many issues remained unresolved. Next to a likeable sympathetic and clever Brunetti Venice, the Brunetti family and delicious Italian food are what make this series great. However in this novel these extras seem to be hover ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The Temptation of Forgiveness in the 27th book in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series.

The commissario is surprised at work by a visit from a colleague of his wife, Paola. Since her son has started his second year at the liceo, he has started acting in a manner that suggests he is doing drugs. She expects Brunetti to do something about it. To investigate who is selling the drugs and arrest them. Some time after, her husband is found badly concussed at the foot of a bridge, after midnight. At
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Glad I went back to this series -- the character of Brunetti feels a little fresher. He makes a mistake in his character analysis and then the solution to the crime takes him down an unexpected and morally ambiguous path. Brunetti is reading Sophocles's Antigone & it gives him some insight and comfort at the end.
Frederick (Ted) and Barbara K. Hecht
A good read with an ambiguous denouement

The first half or so is excellent. A simple but strong story. Then with three suspects, the narrative hits first a dead-end, then backtracks to a solution that implicates the other two suspects.
The denouement is ambiguous, as is often the case in the Donna Leon/Guido Brunetti canon.
Gretchen Minnhaar
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the 27th book in the long running series of police procedurals by Donna León. I have read them all and enjoyed them all. They are not brutal or pornographic or sensational. The subject is the city of Venice itself as it is experienced by Commissrio Brunetti as he tries to keep his bearings while he tries to solve typical urban crimes and deals with political corruption. What I like so much about Brunetti is his family and their often funny interactions; his observations on the passing Ve ...more
Jo Barton
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the twenty-seventh book in the Commissario Brunetti series of crime novels which follow the crime investigations lead by Brunetti and his team in and around the beautiful city of Venice.

In this story Brunetti gets caught up in a complex mystery surrounding the alleged vicious attack on a man who is discovered unconscious near Ponte de Forner and whilst the man is not personally known to Brunetti, it appears that the man's wife, Professoressa Crosera, is a colleague of Brunetti's wife. T
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, italy
Had the sun been an old friend, packing and preparing for a three-month vacation, Brunetti would have told him he'd miss him and wish him a good time, down there in Argentina and New Zealand, spending the winter months - wisely- by the sea and staying warm. When he turned into Ruga Vecchia San Giovanni, he was proven right and rebuttoned his coat for the rest of the walk home.

The day was friendly, so they decided to walk...

Brunetti as always is faced with moral dilemmas, having to choose between
Brent Soderstrum
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the 27th of the Comissario Brunetti series by Leon. As loyal readers know this series revolves around Guido Brunetti and his sidekicks fighting for justice in Venice, Italy. All the regulars make an appearance in the investigation of a man found at the bottom of the stone steps by a bridge. The victim's wife had previously come to Guido with concern that her high school son was using drugs.

Kind of takes awhile to get going but this turns out to be an attack on the sale of medical drugs t
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Again, one sees the wonderful empathy of Brunetti in yet one more well done book about his life. A woman who is a friend of Paola's comes to Brunetti because she thinks her young son may be on drugs. Brunetti checks out the man who is supposedly in charge of drugs in the area and finds the man is very sick and confined to his home. Then he gets a call in the middle of the night that a man is found unconscious on a bridge. At the hospital, he recognizes the husband of Paola's friend. Griffoni and ...more
Carol Douglas
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Donna Leon has again written a fine mystery about Commisario Brunetti of the Venice police. Her descriptions of the locale and its people are always excellent. Her detective is intelligent and compassionate, but realistic. The system continues to get him down.

He believes in the law, though it seems that almost no one else does. He reads Antigone and wonders whether she was right.

The husband of a colleague of his wife, who teaches at the university, has fallen from a bridge and almost died. It s
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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

Other books in the series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 28 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)
“Brunetti didn’t like knowing that she was right.” 0 likes
“Again, she put her face in her hands and wiped away the years, then let them return and looked at him.” 0 likes
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