Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon
|Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The thirteenth book in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336/7h45m||Date: March 2004|
|Publisher: William Heinemann|
|External links: Author's website|
It was her doctor who found the body of the wealthy Venetian woman: he was shocked that she'd been brutally murdered, but hardly sorry as Maria Grazia Battestini had been particularly unpleasant in life. Commissario Guido Brunetti was out of Venice and the case fell to Lieutenant Scarpa, who was keen to have an early result. Fortune seemed to be favouring him: it transpired that the woman's Romanian maid had fled the city and was on a train bound for Bucharest. When the train was stopped at the border the maid was apprehended: she was carrying €700, roughly the amount of cash missing from the dead woman's house. Fearful about what was going to happen to her the maid made a break for freedom - and fell to her death in front of an oncoming freight train. The case wasn't exactly solved, but Scarpa wasn't going to bother looking any further.
And so it might have rested, except that a young woman who lived opposite the old woman returned from three weeks away in London and was shocked when she was told that the maid had killed the old woman. She knew differently and went to the Questura to explain that she'd seen the old woman threatening the maid, whom she'd locked out in the street. Taking pity on her, she'd given her a substantial sum of money, probably about €600 or €700, taken her to the train station and bought her a ticket home. Scarpa was disinclined to believe her, but Brunetti decided to take the case on, unofficially.
The wonderful thing about reading Donna Leon on Venice is that she allows you to share her love of the city, but is not frightened of highlighting exactly why it exasperates her too. She has a firm grip on the social niceties, of where everybody stands in relation to each other and why: her plot weaves its way through the maze with delicacy and sensitivity and creates an elegant mystery. I first read this book many years ago, but recently listened to an audio download (of which more later) and still managed to find the denouement deeply satisfying. Brunetti - the working class policeman and Paola, his aristocratic wife are genius creations.
As an indulgence I listened to an audio download of Doctored Evidence which I bought myself. The narrator was David Colacci and I'll confess to warming to his narrations the more I listen to them - or perhaps I'm just more used to the voice. He's not on a par with my favourite Brunetti narrator - David Rintoul - but it was still an enjoyable read and one to which I'll return in the future.
I've now managed to listen to quite a few Brunetti downloads with a rather cavalier attitude to the order in which they were written. I've finally come to the conclusion that there's no great merit to sticking to the chronological order, but if you do want to know what this is, you'll find a list here:
You could get a free audio download of Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon at Amazon.com.
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