Death in a Strange Country: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Early one morning Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice Police confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young man is fished out of a fetid canal. All the clues point to a violent mugging, but for Brunetti the motive of robbery seems altogether too convenient.
When something is discovered in the victim's apartment that suggests the existence of a high-level conspiracy, Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
Rich with atmosphere and marvelous plotting, Death in a Strange Country is a superb novel in Donna Leon's chilling Venetian mystery series.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 38 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 01, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #24,034 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#11 in LGBTQ+ Mysteries
#51 in LGBTQ+ Mystery (Books)
#86 in Hard-Boiled Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
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Top reviews from the United States
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I enjoyed the tour of Italy I got in this book, and appreciated the foreign intrigue. I have read a few other books set in Italy, so some of the terminology was familiar. This book deals with an American Army doctor that gets killed in or near Venice. Commissario Brunnetti is put in charge. With an attempt to avoid spoilers, this book dealt with a lot of political intrigue between the Italian police and the American Army personnel presence at a post a train ride away, where the victim was stationed. I found myself trying to figure out what time frame this book takes place in, which was a little distracting.
The book ended on a sad note, and not everything was fully tied up and settled. That was good and bad about the story. Maybe it will be built upon in the next book, maybe not, but I found myself sad after reading this one. That isn't my usual reaction, and the writing was good, and the book moved well. Still thinking about this one, and I guess that is a good thing.
The story in this novel revolves around two murder mysteries and a robbery, all of which Brunetti is assigned to solve. A young man, probably an American, is found dead floating in the water of a Venice canal. He may, or may not, be the victim of a robbery. Later, a young American doctor at a U.S. Army base outside a town near Venice is found dead in her quarters, dead of a heroin overdose. Finally, the Venice palace of a Milano industrialist is burgled and its owner sent to the hospital from a beating. In all three cases, Brunetti smells a story that would rule out the obvious explanation. His investigation of all these mysteries is hemmed in by his boss, a feckless and lazy Sicilian with a fancy title who is interested only in pleasing the powers that be and taking credit for any discoveries made by defying his orders.
Donna Leon has lived in Venice for twenty-five years. Her books have been translated into many languages — but not, at her request, into Italian. The true subject of Death in a Strange Country is corruption. Leon’s depiction of Italian society and especially the Italian criminal justice system is unsparing. Little wonder that she has resisted the translation of her novels into the local language!
This is the second book in the series (I recommend starting with that one first so you will have a better feel for Brunetti, but you certainly won't be lost if you begin with this one. Brunetti must solve a murder of an American soldier stationed at a nearby US military base, where all signs point to a mugging gone terribly wrong. But in his analytical fashion, Brunetti digs deeper and finds a high level conspiracy involving the US military at the base. Given the political ramifications, Brunetti must, in his semi Columbo style, determine why and how to progress the case given his Superior wants to sweep this all under the rug as well.
I won't go further, but suffice it to say, you will be entranced by our intrepid Commissiario's style, his ability to prior information out of reluctant people and his low key approach. He's the type of person we all would love to have as a boss.
This is one series I'll stay with as long as Donna Leon keeps writing them. It's hard to put the book down once I start it.
He just a good guy with a good family doing a good job. Like an Italian Maigret.
The amount of wandering around and stopping for food or coffee is phenomenal.
Somehow it works. The novels are engrossing and addictive. Don't start unless you want to read 30 books. You won’t stop.
The earlier books are somewhat dated (Brunetti doesn't have a cell phone) but charmingly so. Crime is still crime, however, so the anachronisms are not too distracting. I highly recommend this series, especially for police procedural fans.
Top reviews from other countries
Offsetting the darker elements are scenes of comedy in Brunetti’s ongoing feud with Patta, his boss; and the wonderful warmth of his family life. Nuanced and atmospheric, this is crime writing lit up with wit, intelligence, subtlety and humanity.
Looking forward to book 3, doesn't seen to be available
Donna Leon's books quite simply inhabit Venice. Those of us who know it only superficially find it easy to recognise and by the end feel we understand the city and its customs and hidden corners a little better. If we have never dropped in at that little bar for a coffee and a brioche, we can be sure we will spot it next time and not pass by.
The crime, of course, is intriguing enough to keep the reader turning pages but the pleasure is the setting in which it is wrapped: the place and the people. Above all, the people. Commissario Brunetti has few rivals in detective fiction for the way in which his character emerges through myriad small details. The reader sees him at work and at home, with strengths and weaknesses in both, but they are indivisible halves of the same man. If one were the victim of a crime, one would be fortunate indeed to have Brunetti on the case.
The Commissario alone would guarantee Donna Leon's rightful place among the best of her peers, but there are other subtle virtues not to be overlooked. In passing, Death in a Strange Country airs thoughtful views on immigration, on corruption, and on polution of the planet. And all this with a beautifully understated sense of humour.
At one point, Paola Brunetti makes a risotto for her husband. "He took two forkfuls, sighed in appreciation, and continued to eat ... Paola saw that he had passed beyond the point of hunger and was eating for the pleasure of the act ..." Contemplating the long list of Donna Leon's other titles, one experiences a similar sensation.