Sunday, September 09, 2012

Donna Leon, BEASTLY THINGS: Italy and Animal Cruelty (Another Short Mention)

You'll need a strong stomach for BEASTLY THINGS, this year's offering in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series from Donna Leon. It's not the murder that's so upsetting this time -- and there are plenty of warmly interesting scenes with Signora Elettra at the "office" and Guido's reassuringly sane family at home.

But the murder is rooted in the wholesale animal butchering necessary to feed an omnivorous city, Venice, and the details are powerful. When Brunetti takes along his sidekick Vianello to see what had worried the victim of the crime, they're unprepared for the horror inside the slaughterhouse.
Vianello broke first. He pushed past Brunetti, no longer concerned with Bianchi and his opinion, or any opinion at all, and staggered drunkenly to the door. He pushed at is uselessly, then pounded it twice and gave it a kick. ... Brunetti could see Vianello walking away from them, one hand raised to shoulder height beside him, as if to keep it there, ready to grab on to the wire wall of the walkway should he not be able to continue.
A good read, with all the best reassurances of a sturdy and enjoyable crime/police series, and a disturbing aftertaste that may change your approach to dinner. Glad to see that Leon finally has a pro website, on which there are some great resources to explore:

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