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Trace Elements (2020)

por Donna Leon

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Commissario Brunetti (29)

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2902069,771 (3.74)8
From theNew York Times bestselling author ofUnto Us a Son is Given, comes one of her most dark and thrilling mysteries yet. A woman's cryptic dying words in a Venetian hospice lead Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region in Donna Leon's haunting twenty-ninth Brunetti novel. When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. "They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no," Benedetta Toso gasps the words about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto. Even though he is not sure she can hear him Brunetti softly promises he and Griffoni will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that Fadalto worked in the field collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice's water supply and that he had died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Distracted briefly by Vice Questore Patta's obsession with youth crime in Venice, Brunetti is bolstered once more by the remarkable research skills of Patta's secretary, Signora Elettra Zorzi. Piecing together the tangled threads, in time Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman's accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be when, seeking solace, hereads Aeschylus's classic playThe Eumenides. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.… (mais)
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Inglês (16)  Espanhol (3)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (20)
Mostrando 1-5 de 20 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I choose this because I had been reading a lot of books featuring bad people misbehaving and often winning because of it. Not what I wanted to be experiencing! So I knew a trip to Venice with Guido Brunetti would be just what I needed. I was right. The mystery, as is usually the case with this series, was fine but was not what I was reading for. The basic humanity and decency of Brunetti warms my heart and spending time with him as he interacts with those around him reaffirms my tenuous faith in humanity. Thoroughly enjoyable, as expected. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Inspector Guido Brunetti is again tasked with what seems to be the impossible - find out why a dying woman's claim that her husband was killed for "bad money" with no other clues or facts to help. Besides having to take baby steps to each clue, all of Venice has to deal with unseasonable heat. Where does Guido begin and will it take him to the right conclusion.

It amazes me that this series can have such great characters while also addressing social/environmental issues without seeming stuffing and boring. This time however, it seems that there wasn't enough character interaction for me. ( )
  cyderry | Jul 1, 2021 |
...and that's a "barely okay." Signorina Leon seems to be losing steam, I'm afraid. After 28 Brunetti mysteries, this one feels plodding and pedestrian, in both senses of the word. The first 100 pages are a slog: it's hot in Venice. Everyone is sweating. Brunetti and colleague Griffoni watch a canal being dredged. A dying woman manages to gasp that her husband has been killed for "bad money." Brunetti's contemptible boss Patta is fussed because some pickpockets have been busy, and he has air conditioning in his office. 100 pages. It picks up a bit after that, but not much. We already know about the scourge of tourists in Venice, and the plot involves chicanery in the water supply services, which Bruno astutely figures out with the aid of the stretched-to-incredulity hacking genius of Elettra Zorzi. (Half the time basic links on the website of the major American university for which I work don't work, and IT shrugs and never calls back. Five minutes and the intrepid Zorzi has every scrap of info, with nary a profanity or dead link or network crash in sight.)

Then there's the writing. Leon has simply padded out an insufficient plot with unedited narration of every motion made and every syllable spoken by the characters. On nearly any random page, you will find passages like this: "He led her towards the bridge but did not cross it, turned right along the canal to the second bridge, left, narrow street, popping up from nowhere on the right, another bridge into an underpass...began to swivel his body a half-step before he reached the corner where he had to turn, glanced across canals to the buildings on the other side, slowed to watch a cormorant dive under the water, and kept going." And this goes on for another 6 lines. Seriously? Have we no editors? And oh, by the way, it's still really hot and everyone is sweaty. The pickpocket plot vanishes after a nudge at some involvement of the evil Lieutenant Scarpa. But I'm not sure I care enough to read the next book to find out if it goes anywhere.

I have read that Leon has finally moved out of Venice and lives mostly in Switzerland now. That's sad. Perhaps she's going to take her leave of good, thoughtful, serious Guido as well, if she can't do him any better justice than this.

juliestielstra.com ( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
A call from a doctor at a hospice facility in Venice brought Commissarios Guido Brunetti and Claudia Griffoni to the side of a dying woman. She recently had been transferred there from another facility because she and her husband could no longer could afford it. The mother of two daughters, one twelve and one fourteen, she had been fighting cancer for a few years. Now spread throughout her body, she was painfully coming very close to the end of her life. To make matters worse, her husband had been killed in a motorcycle accident two weeks previously.
When the hospice doctor asked if she wanted to see a priest, she said she wanted to talk to the police. Because of the medication and her physical situation, it was very difficult for her to speak lucidly for any length of time. But she did manage to say, “They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no.”
A day later, as she died, Brunetti, said he would follow through. Even though she didn’t hear him, he felt obligated to keep his promise.
Her husband had worked for a company that analyzed the purity of the water that would be used for homes and businesses. His job was to find evidence of any contaminates and report them. Following the death, to which there were no witnesses, Brunetti went to the company to discover what, if anything, he had found that might have lead to “bad money.”
As is true for all of Donna Leon’s books in the series, it is well-written and paints a wonderful picture of life and work in Venice. Example: “The white surface of the stone worked in consort with the sun, flashing back in to their faces the same sunlight that hammered down on their backs.”
Brunetti is a realist, working with what should be done vs what can be done. The results are not always what we would like them to be.
I was saddened to read about the doctor and Brunetti giving CPR to the patient. She was within days of dying. She had lost a lot of weight. She was in extreme pain. CPR under those conditions can cause broken bones and puncture the lungs. Why subject her to more torture? (I realize that some people and religions believe in doing everything to preserve life regardless of the situation but it seemed cruel under these circumstances.)
I really disliked the extreme fat shaming near the beginning of the book. The woman was morbidly obese but it doesn’t have to be mentioned several times on each of several pages. Her weight did not play a role in the story line. I dropped one star because of this.
I also think it’s time for his teenage son and daughter, who is concerned about the environment and class privilege, to do more work around the house, such as washing dishes. Both parents are employed.
The Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery series are always a pleasure. ( )
  Judiex | Aug 10, 2020 |
Synopsis: 'When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. “They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no,” Benedetta Toso gasps the words about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto. Even though he is not sure she can hear him Brunetti softly promises he and Griffoni will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that Fadalto worked in the field collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice’s water supply and that he had died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Distracted briefly by Vice Questore Patta’s obsession with youth crime in Venice, Brunetti is bolstered once more by the remarkable research skills of Patta’s secretary, Signora Elettra Zorzi. Piecing together the tangled threads, in time Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman’s accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be when, seeking solace, he reads Aeschylus’s classic play The Eumenides.'
Review: While I love the setting and generally the story line, I often find the endings depressing, as this one was.
  DrLed | Jul 15, 2020 |
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Donna Leonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Parés Sellarés, NúriaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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From theNew York Times bestselling author ofUnto Us a Son is Given, comes one of her most dark and thrilling mysteries yet. A woman's cryptic dying words in a Venetian hospice lead Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region in Donna Leon's haunting twenty-ninth Brunetti novel. When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. "They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no," Benedetta Toso gasps the words about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto. Even though he is not sure she can hear him Brunetti softly promises he and Griffoni will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that Fadalto worked in the field collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice's water supply and that he had died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Distracted briefly by Vice Questore Patta's obsession with youth crime in Venice, Brunetti is bolstered once more by the remarkable research skills of Patta's secretary, Signora Elettra Zorzi. Piecing together the tangled threads, in time Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman's accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be when, seeking solace, hereads Aeschylus's classic playThe Eumenides. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.

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