Mas a atmosfera de romance policial é apenas um dos atrativos do romance. A narrativa em tom cortante e seco constrói um painel do universo juvenil utilizando os códigos de linguagem estabelecidos pelos adolescentes em conflito. Com precisão e sensibilidade, o autor mergulha num mundo desprovido de recursos, retratando com maestria as gírias e manias dessa idade, suas “listas”, suas obsessões por frases e palavras de duplo sentido, a sexualidade emergente e o desejo de violência, expresso em palavras e ações. Forçando a todo momento o limite da sua inocência, o protagonista Harri tenta se enquadrar neste universo.
Mais do que o retrato desolador de uma metrópole desigual, Stephen Kelman constrói um comovente romance de formação, expondo a dureza de um cotidiano em um mundo pleno de crueldade pelos olhos de um garoto que tem no amor pelos pássaros e pelas pessoas uma forte motivação de vida. Este menino sonhador inevitavelmente se choca com a sociedade em que vive, mas ao guardar dentro de si algo lúdico em sua visão de mundo, descobre-se ainda capacitado para realizar ações nobres.
Surpreendido pela visita de um ex-colega de colégio, Billy Hunt, Quirke fica ainda mais espantado quando o homem lhe pede que não faça autópsia na esposa, Deirdre, cujo corpo foi recentemente resgatado das águas da baía de Dublin. Apesar de tudo apontar para suicídio, Quirke pressente que algo está errado e, após fazer um exame secreto do cadáver, inicia uma investigação particular para desvendar os mistérios daquela morte.
Se ela não se matou, quem o fez e por quê?
Ao mergulhar na escuridão por trás das evidências, Quirke conhece pessoas que podem ter selado o destino daquela jovem cuja infância miserável deixou profundas cicatrizes. Entre elas, Leslie White, um aproveitador ladino que lhe propõe uma parceria comercial num salão de beleza, O Cisne de Prata, e Dr. Kreutz, filho de um psicanalista austríaco e de uma jovem indiana, que se autodenominava curandeiro espiritual e preenchia muitas das horas ociosas de Deirdre com histórias de sua mística e exótica religiosidade. Aos poucos, Quirke descobre uma rede de mentiras e chantagens que ameaça envolver até sua própria filha, Phoebe. E, embora o perigo sempre o tenha estimulado, há coisas naquele caso que melhor seria ter permanecido ocultas.
Hábil estilista literário, Benjamin Black compõe longas passagens descritivas, permeadas de personagens críveis e densos que se reúnem numa trama de conclusão absolutamente chocante.
Mas sua rotina agradável é interrompida por um assassinato cuja brutalidade choca toda a Brigada Criminal. O caso se torna ainda mais sombrio quando são encontradas similaridades entre o crime e o assassinato hediondo relatado em Dália Negra, um romance policial de James Ellroy, publicado em 1987.
A imprensa, então, apelida o assassino de "O Romancista" e a investigação do caso se desenvolve com os dois homens – o comandante Verhoeven e O Romancista – sob o olhar público, e um está determinado a ser mais inteligente do que o outro. No entanto, só é possível haver um ganhador: aquele que tem menos a perder.
In Earthly Remains, the twenty-sixth novel in this series, Brunetti’s endurance is tested more than ever before. During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break, needs to get away from the stifling problems of his work.
When Brunetti is granted leave from the Questura, his wife, Paola, suggests he stay at the villa of a relative on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History. The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house on Sant’Erasmo, goes missing following a sudden storm. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to the man who had become his friend.
Earthly Remains is quintessential Donna Leon, a powerful addition to this celebrated series.
“Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon, the expatriate American with the Venetian heart. . . . One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.” —The Washington Post
Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing.
Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness—the girl’s grandmother—asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees.
Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, and the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series.
One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.
As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.
Rich with atmosphere and marvelous plotting, Death in a Strange Country is a superb novel in Donna Leon’s chilling Venetian mystery series.
Brunetti begins to investigate the death and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no passport, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. Stranger still, the dead man’s mother refuses to speak to the police, and assures Brunetti that her son’s identification papers were stolen in a burglary. As secrets unravel, Brunetti suspects that the Lembos, an aristocratic family, might be somehow connected to the death. But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?
Late one night, Brunetti is called away from dinner to investigate the death of a widow in her modest apartment. Though there are some signs of a struggle, the medical examiner rules that she died of a heart attack. It seems there is nothing for Brunetti to investigate. But he can’t shake the feeling that something or someone may have triggered her heart attack, that perhaps the woman was threatened. Conversations with the woman’s son, her upstairs neighbor, and the nun in charge of the old-age home where she volunteered, do little to satisfy Brunetti’s nagging curiosity. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, perhaps Brunetti can get to the truth and find some measure of justice.
Insightful and emotionally powerful, Drawing Conclusions reaffirms Donna Leon’s status as one of the masters of literary crime fiction.
Brunetti and his wife, Paola, attend an early performance, and Flavia receives a standing ovation. Back in her dressing room, she finds bouquets of yellow roses—too many roses. Every surface of the room is covered with them. An anonymous fan has been showering Flavia with these beautiful gifts in London, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and now, Venice, but she no longer feels flattered. A few nights later, invited by Brunetti to dine at his in-laws’ palazzo, Flavia confesses her alarm at these excessive displays of adoration. And when a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia’s attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia’s fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined. He must enter in the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm.