Book Review – Drawing Conclusions

by Donna Leon (William Heinemann) ISBN: 978-0-4340-2144-4

If, like me, a thriller with twists, turns, a bit of blood and a few shocks is what you’re looking for in a novel, this book is not for you. However, if you’re looking for beautifully descriptive writing, an intriguing story and charming characters, this is one to note.

The story is set in summertime Venice. An old woman is found dead in her flat, from an apparent heart attack. However there are some slight bruises that indicate possible foul play. Enter our charming protagonist, Guido Brunetti, Commisario di Polizia. Guido is one of those old-school characters that endear you with their sharp thinking, intent of purpose, charm, politeness and chivalry.

Guido follows the basic clues laid before him and in doing so investigates the story of abused and sheltered women in Italy. The following of these clues leads the inspector to the ultimate case conclusion.

This book is not about suspense and late night page-turning. To keep the reader honest, Donna Leon butterflies the story through a beautiful city and paints delicate and deep characters that keep us intrigued and charmed from beginning to end.

Being new to Donna Leon, I started the book expecting the usual dosage of criminal twist sand turns. However upon turning the final page, this gently-paced story left me satisfied and charmed.

Patrick Duff