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Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)
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Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti #4)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,031 Ratings  ·  390 Reviews
A Fine Copy
Mass Market Paperback, 326 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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Alex is The Romance Fox
We return to the beautiful city of Venice and meet up once again with Commissario Guido Brunetti, in Donna Leon’s 4th book in the Commissario Brunetti Series.

A truck crashes on a mountain road in the Italian Dolomites, killing the driver and a cargo of unidentified women.
A month later, a prominent local lawyer, is found murder on an intercity train in Venice.

Two incidents that seem totally unrelated until Commissario Brunetti begins investigating the murder of the lawyer, who has a clean record
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This one near the beginning of the Brunetti series (#4) is not joyful. But it probably contains important concepts for the series and for the crux of Italian justice system's response to the horror of the sex slave, prostitution and snuff film industries using women shipped from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, South America. And through that window also the context of Guido's associates within policing for the other districts in the Veneto. So it sets a pivotal stage. He is in Mestre, Padua area ...more
I really like the entire Commissario Brunetti series because I get to take a break from my normal life and read about fettucine truffle pasta. That said, this is my least favorite book so far. Without giving too much away, the plot of this book revolves around human trafficking and horrific sexual violence against women, which ruins the escapism for me. I just don't like reading books in which sexual violence is a major subplot or plot point, and I avoid them now if possible.

However! The first h
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
These are extremely dark books, and this is one of the darkest. A truck crashes in the mountains near Treviso - the driver is killed, as are several unidentified women being transported from the Balkans. Several murders then occur in Venice, and eventually the web of profit from this modern form of sex slavery and snuff films turns out to be connected to all three of the murders. The murderer...I will not spoil this...the outcome is both satisfying and excruciatingly frustrating.
The books are en
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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This is my fourth book of her series and I think I need a break. I love Venice and that is why I first strated reading this but so far, it has just left me very depressed. The main character seems in the end, is always left with very little power and the bad guys just get away with everything. This particular one just left me too sad to continue reading the series for now. The saddest part of all is that there is truth in this fictional book and the atrocities towards women still continues and n ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was nearly finished this book when I came to a scene that was so familiar that I wondered if I had actually read the book before and just forgot it. However, it turns out that I had seen this on the German made Brunetti series and realized how close that series really is to the books. This book, written in 1995, reflect the author's realistic embrace of Venice and Italy. Her books detail the famous corruption that goes to the highest reaches of government and industry. However, in my opinion, ...more
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A particularly sad, sordid and brutal journey for Commissario Guido Brunetti. One wonders how he (and Ms. Leon) manage to preserve their decency and dignity in the face of it. But perhaps that is part of what keeps us reading: hope in our hero-detective, who in preserving himself, helps us to preserve ourselves.
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Death and Judgement[return]Donna Leon[return][return]4th in the Commisario Brunetti series set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]A prominent lawyer is murdered, executio-style, on the train coming home to Venice from Padova. In the midst of the ever-growing corruption scandals in the Italian government, a very successful accountant from Padova, connectedted with teh Ministry of Health, appears to have committed suicide; everyone assumes that this is in connection with the scandals involving the M ...more

It's been almost two years since I read the 3rd installment of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series. On finishing that book, I wavered on continuing on with the series and ended my review that it was a "definite maybe." So I was true to that promise. The time span certainly suggests there was not a strong pull to continue on, but alas when I was looking (needing!) a quick knock-off read, Death and Judgment did pop to mind.

While pretty formulaic from the get-go it was enjoyable enough, it was
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, italy
Set in Venice, the Commissario Brunetti series focuses on Guido Brunetti, a veteran police detective, who finds himself in this book, trying to solve several similar murders which are not easily connected.  Brunetti's wife, Paola, and teenage daughter make cameo appearances.  Paola seems a strong-willed and opinionated woman, who I would like to see play a more major role in the series.

The horrors of human trafficking, abusive sex practices and videos of murderous sex scenes don't make for pleas
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
This was my first introduction to the world of Commissario Guido Brunetti and I'll want to visit it again and again. Donna Leon's uncluttered style manages to cover a lot of ground—the shifting layers of Venetian society, the Italian cynicism towards its government and officials, Brunetti's relationships with his co-workers and his family and a major crime to solve over many a cup of coffee or grappa with nary a gun in sight. Death and Judgement opens with a transport truck going off an alpine r ...more
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
DEATH AND JUDGMENT (aka A Venetian Reckoning) (Police Proc-Venice-Cont) – VG
Leon, Donna – 4th in series
Penguin, 1995 – Paperback
*** Commissario Guido Brunetti’s newest case is the murder of a prominent international lawyer. As he investigates, a link is found between this murder and the murder of an accountant being investigated by a colleague in Padua. These two threads tie back to an winter accident with a truck going off an icy road resulting in the death of several woman without identificati
Narrator: David Colacci

I've only listened to 3 Brunetti audiobooks but already I felt this one was repetitive - comments about homophobia and gays, whores, sexual enslavement of women...I got rather bored after a while and Guido's investigation into the murder mystery didn't interest me past the halfway mark.

Much as I enjoy Collacci's narration (I skipped Book 2 because Anna Fields was narrating), I found my attention wandering several times and paused this a
This is a dark, cynical tale of corruption, the madness of men and how men can become so alien from their human side that trading, exploiting, selling and killing humans, especially women, is a way of life and business as usual. The principal characters in Leon's Brunetti universe are set by this book. We have the usual gang : Elettra Zorzi has settled in at the police station, Vianello is the loyal second in command and Brunetti's family in this case Chiara helps out. A new player enters the fr ...more
Deborah Moulton
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Human sex trafficking is the subject of this book. In this case, it's the influx of women from former Soviet bloc countries who have been tricked and trapped into prostitution by criminals who treat them like cattle. Mixed in the Italian landscape are the "gentlemen from the South" who have infiltrated every criminal enterprise in Italy. The careful way in which they are regarded by the police and the average Italian speaks volumes about the Mafia's iron grip on Italian society. Corruption as a ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the Donna Leon books I've read so far (about six of them). The conversation between Guido and Paola in which they discuss the difference between what is criminal and what is wrong is wonderfully written. It tells so much about the laws in Venice, and about their relationship. The story itself is a good one, too.
Alan Korolenko
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Three murders create suspicion in Commisario Brunetti's mind that they are linked. His investigation leads to a prostitution ring and "snuff film" business. Leon has made a point in her previous books of showing the corruption and incompetence in the Italian authorities and this book drives home that point of view forcefully.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Just couldn't get into this.
Vincent Fogle
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like visiting old friends with just the right frequency. Leon maintains a very high standard , especially re her characters. No disappointments here.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A truck runs off the road and crashes down a mountainside, revealing that among its cargo are several young women. Then a lawyer is murdered on a train. Then in Mestre there is a suicide that Brunetti's friend in the police department reveals is actually a murder. Now Brunetti realizes there's something big going on, his investigations take him into the world of human trafficking.

This is the first of the series that I am not very happy with. My actual rating is 3.5, but I will round down. It's s
Sue Katoll
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death, yes. Judgment?

Leon continues to write so well that the story seems to flow spontaneously from some cosmic source of all stories. I gave the book the rating not because it was fun to read, but because it deals fairly with gritty, ugly reality. It romanticizes nothing. It does not preach. There is an element of journalism here. She quotes facts and numbers of the sex trade, but always as Brunetti's doing his job and doing it well. (With help from Signorina Elettra and friends.) The thing t
Rose Buchgeschnipsel
Meine komplette Rezension mit Steckbrief hier:

Commissario Brunettis vierter Fall – Vendetta // A venetian Reckoning, 1995 // US; Death and Judgment

Ein Unglück sorgt dafür, dass acht rumänische Frauen ums Leben kommen und keiner weiß wer sie sind. Der renommierte Anwalt Trevisan wird leblos in seiner Kanzlei gefunden. Binnen weniger Tagen stirbt auf ungewöhnliche weiße sein Geschäftspartner. Was hat es damit auf sich?‘ Warum werden Anrufe über eine Bar gef
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy
I love spending time with Guido Brunetti and crew, but it is often not a positive ride. I am beginning to worry that the corruption rampant in Venice and Italian government is actually becoming more and more evident here in the US. As a government bureaucrat, I find that discouraging. Hopefully, like Brunetti, I will be able to continue to fight the good fight. In this book, the fight is particularly good given the crimes that are rampant in it, including sex trafficking and murder among the hig ...more
I love Brunetti but this is not one of my favourites. It had all the elements I love - Venice, Brunetti's family, Signorina Elettra and her magic PC - but it sagged in the middle, perhaps because more of the investigation was done through paperwork and phone calls, rather than traipsing the streets of Venice with frequent stops for prosecco and tramezzini.

As is usual for Brunetti's Italy, justice of a sort is done, but not in the courts. That didn't worry me as I've come to expect it - but I di
Don Healy
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although, as other reviewers have noted, this is a dark book where sexual slavery protected by corruption is more than just a theme, Guido Brunetti and his methodical investigative processes are as interesting as always and, of course, elevated by being set in Venice. Also, I found some of the domestic scenes with his family both hilarious and dramatic, something that is often lacking in the mystery-police procedural genre. Particularly if you have any interest in the setting, it's a good read.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh I just love these books - they're like peanuts. I love Venice and the food in Italy so there's that - and it may have some effect on my judgment but these Commissario Brunetti mysteries are a delight (not to mention his uber snarky wise wife Paola). There is always fascinating and relevant information about Italy - culture, politics, scandal, problems etc but there is never a lecturing or condescending tone. Donna Leon loves Italy despite seeing her for what she really is - warts and all.
3.5? Rating only low because I found this one a rather nasty story, more than the usual tales of Venetian corruption, but touching the worst aspects of human character. Brunetti's daughter is exposed to some pretty horrible ugliness.
Well written, as usual, with some nice meals (fettucine with truffles, anyone?).
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I almost gave this 3 stars because it was well written and further develops the characters in this series. However, I came back to the 2 stars with an "ok" rating because it was just so depressing, with an ending that left me feeling like there was neither resolution nor justice. So, my review speaks less to the quality of the book, and more to my enjoyment reading it.
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Play Book Tag: Death and Judgement by Donna Leon - 3.5 stars 1 6 Oct 28, 2017 02:16PM  
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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 27 books)
  • Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)
  • Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2)
  • Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3)
  • 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)
  • Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti, #11)
“Though he did not believe, he was not untouched by the magic of belief ...” 14 likes
“Vianello had the knack of getting people to talk. Especially if they were Venetians, the people he interviewed invariably warmed to this large, sweet-tempered man who gave every appearance of speaking Italian reluctantly, who was only too glad to lapse into their common dialect, a linguistic change that often carried its speakers along to unconscious revelation. ” 3 likes
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