Toni Osborne's Reviews > Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places by Donna Leon
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's review
Feb 12, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

Also under the title "The Dark Side of Venice"

(The ninth book in the Guido Brunetti series)

One day, Commissario Brunetti is visited by Franco Rossi, a young bureaucrat concerned about the lack of official approval to build his apartment years before. There are no existing plans for this addition in the registry's office; in fact, on record, the flat was never built. The Brunetti family fears a blackmail scenario, resulting in demolition or an enormous fine even though the original construction was done years ago and the legal aspect was duly notarised.

After months of anxiety and a lack of follow-up from the registry's office it comes to Brunetti attention that Rossi has been found dead. With an interest on more than one level, the detective looks into the young man's work life and discovers an underworld link to drugs and loan-sharking. At the same time, Brunetti's boss Patta reveals his personal problems in relation to the world of drug dealers, thugs and crooks never ends.. Ms Leon successfully plays with the idea that corrupt practices breed more corruption.

This is a very good read, written in a simple language with the odd Italian word to accentuate the atmosphere. The returning characters are well drawn; Brunetti and his wife are the same likable couple maintaining balance between their working life and their family life. What is an Italian story without food, the author never lets us down and her description is so vivid you can almost smell the aroma.

This is another well done book in her series.
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