Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Death and Judgement by Donna Leon

The story follows the case of a murdered lawyer, with impeccable credentials and a list of A-list clients, as Commissario Brunetti methodically works his way to a conclusion. We see a bit of fun development of Leon's minor characters, like the administrative assistant, Elettra, who seems to have a talent for moving an investigation along with her contacts in the Italian phone company, saving Brunetti the time and trouble of obtaining an un-obtainable warrant.

The trail leads into the seamy underside of the sex trade, where hordes of women from South America and Eastern bloc countries are lured to Italy with the promise of a great job, only to betrayed into prostitution and effectively white slavery once they arrive. Again, the official justice system in Brunetti's country doesn't deliver, but Brunetti finds the anwers he's looking for and the perpetrator meets an untimely end.

The theme of all of these stories seems to be about corruption and abuses by the rich and powerful, and it's all expressed with a particularly Venetian sense of fatalism.

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