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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Donna Leon - Uniform Justice


This is the first book of this author I have read.  I picked it up because the backdrop to the murder was Venice.  Having been there last year and loved it I thought it would be good to read a story based there.  I am glad I went to Venice before reading this book as it taints the place a little.
Its a gentle murder mystery, a little along the lines of Miss Marple/Poirot.
The main character is Commissario Brunetti and his wife Paolo who is often his 'soundingboard'.  A young cadet is found hanged at Venice's elite military academy, where only title and wealth get the students there.  The death sorrows Brunetti as his own son is the same age.  It is made to look like suicide but Brunetti soon has his doubts but he meets stiff resistance and arrogance to any questioning from the murdered boys fellow students and teachers.
Neither Brunetti, his wife nor his indispensable admin/research assistant, Signorina Elettra, have much time for the military or the politics of Venice.  The wall of veiled secrets and silence he encounters in the investigation irks him even more as does the top-heavy Italian police bureaucracy, who want him to stop the investigation as he is upsetting the students and their prestigious families.
Its a strange meloncholy ending.

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