Diane's Reviews > Death in a Strange Country

Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon
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's review
Apr 18, 2010

really liked it

Some people have compared Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series to George Simenon's Maigret books. The similarities are obvious in Death in a Strange Country: a spare style; a main character who says as little as possible and who loves his wife and family; a setting that is integral to the plot as well as the atmosphere of the story. However, Commissario Brunetti is less detached than Maigret and he readily shows his frustration with the corrupt bureaucracy that constantly threatens to undermine his criminal investigations.

A friend recommended this series, and this is the first of the Leon series I've read. However, I intend to read more of these books if for no other reason but to be transported to Italy, a place I visited once and would love to go back to. Leon moves the action from Venice to an American military base where the murder victims were based, thus showing the contrast between the two cultures in microcosm. However, setting the novel in Venice also gives the action a claustophic feeling that adds to the plot tension.

Those who are looking for a quick satisfying read would be happy with Death in a Strange Country. Now I have to go back to read the first book in the series.

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