Friday 6 April 2018

Review ~ The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon

William Heinemann
5 April 2018

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

This is the twenty-seventh book in the Commissario Brunetti series of crime novels which follow the crime investigations lead by Brunetti and his team in and around the beautiful city of Venice. 

In this story Brunetti gets caught up in a complex mystery surrounding the alleged vicious attack on a man who is discovered unconscious near Ponte de Forner and whilst the man is not personally known to Brunetti, it appears that the man's wife, Professoressa Crosera, is a colleague of Brunetti's wife. That this may be connected with a visit that Professoressa Crosera has just made to Brunetti’s office may, or may, not have a bearing on the investigation. With few clues to the alleged crime, Brunetti with his customary persistence sets out to solve the mystery in his own inimitable style.

I think what comes across in any of these stories is the study of Brunetti himself, and of the way he carefully considers every possibility before deciding on a course of action. However, to me, in The Temptation of Forgiveness, Brunetti seems more measured than usual and I'm not sure whether this was a deliberate slowing down of the character but I felt that sometimes he seemed to lose his way only to be brought back by the resourcefulness of his colleagues particularly, Signorina Elettra and fellow  Commissario, Claudia Griffoni.

I am sure that readers who have followed the Commissario Brunetti series from the beginning will be just as eager to read this latest mystery. And as always the darker side of Venice takes centre stage although relatively new readers may have to keep referring to the map to see just where Brunetti shows up in the city. However, it must be mentioned that readers coming new into the series at book twenty-seven may well wonder what on earth is going on, so, although the story is a standalone read, I really don't advise starting here as so much of the richness of Brunetti's character is lost when you don't know and understand him.

Having read this twenty-seventh book, I am sure that there are still more adventures for Commissario Brunetti and even more corners of Venice still to be explored.

About the Author

Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, She is an award winning crime novelist, celebrated for her bestselling Brunetti series. Her books have been translated into thirty-five languages and have been published around the world.

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