Beastly Things – Donna Leon

(I was tempted to use this book title as the headline for the earlier flytilla 2 post, but I restrained myself.)

Setting: Venice, Italy.

Story: The body of a murder victim is washed ashore, but without evidence of identity, the investigation stalls. Commissario Brunetti discovers who the victim was, and sets out to find out who killed him, and why.

The Good Stuff: The usual, superb Venetian backdrop from Leon, is put to good use alongside the lovable big teddy of a policeman that is Commissario Brunetti. The politics, dirty dealing and whiff of Italy (and Venice) are authentic and inspiring.

The Not So Good Stuff: The plot is basic. It looks to me as if this was written to highlight a social issue – which I will not disclose, to maintain suspense – rather than to showcase any new insight from this excellent author.

However: It is worth buying the book to read and experience the final scene; that alone is worth the price of admission and more. Pure, bloody, brilliant.

Score: 7/10.  (The final scene is a 9/10 coupon buster.)