Monday, July 9, 2012
Brunetti is a mostly honest police detective who works in a mostly dishonest and entirely complex system.
He is also in love with his wife and has two decent kids, and has co-workers who respect him.
Of course, everything isn’t perfect. His boss is a complete politician who cares only for how things look, and there are men on his squad who are dishonest, stupid, or both. And the system itself works against him, leading many to distrust him solely because he is a police officer, and most police are corrupt.
A young women returns home early from a weekend away to discover her neighbor dead on the floor. Because she sees blood, she calls the police, and Brunetti is one of the first on the scene. Marks on the woman’s skin make Brunetti wonder if there is more to this death than it seems.
One of the things I love about this series–besides Brunetti and Paola and the descriptions of food, is the atmosphere. Venice must be an amazing place to live, and as I believe Brunetti says in an earlier book, it’s important to appreciate what you have around you, which Brunetti very much does, when he takes time to stop and enjoy Venice.
Plus, there are Brunetti’s descriptions of human nature.
‘People don’t joke about things like this,’ she said sharply.
Brunetti was of a different mind entirely, having had plenty of evidence of the human capacity to joke at anything, no matter how terrible. It seemed to him that an entirely legitimate defence against looming horror that could afflict us. In this, he was a great admirer of the British; well, of the British who were, with their wry humour in the face of death, their gallows humor–they even had a word for it–defiant to the point of madness.
Another, entirely different passage, caught my eye.
A shaggy black dog stood on a table precariously balanced on a pile of cardboard boxes at the prow of the boat, its nose pointing forward as bravely as any figurehead. How dogs loved boats. Was it the open air and the richness of scents passing by? He couldn’t remember whether dogs saw at long distance or only very close, or perhaps it differed according to what breed they were. Well, there’d be no determining breed with this one: he was as much Bergamasco as Labrador, as much spaniel as hound. He was happy, that was evident, and perhaps that’s all a dog needed to be and all Brunetti needed to know about a dog.
If you have not read a Brunetti mystery, you could probably start here, but I highly recommend going back and starting at the beginning. The first book in the series is excellent, and you’ll enjoy spending time with Brunetti and his family.
Published by Penguin