Synopses & Reviews
Blood from a Stone brings Donna Leon's celebrated character Commissario Guido Brunetti back on the scene: On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death-fake handbags of every designer label. The dead man is one of the many African immigrants purveying goods outside normal shop hours and trading without a work permit.
Like everybody involved, Commissario Brunetti wonders why anyone would kill an illegal immigrant. But once Brunetti begins to investigate this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the secretive society.
Warned by Patta, his superior, to resist further involvement in the case, Brunetti only becomes more determined to unearth the truth behind this mysterious killing. Reluctant as he is to let this event be smugly relegated to the category of "not worth dealing with," how far will Brunetti be able to penetrate the murky subculture in this illegal community? Blood from a Stone is an exquisite and irresistible mystery offering an unexpected take on life in contemporary Venice.
"In this stunning novel, the 14th to feature the dogged, intuitive Venetian police detective Guido Brunetti (after 2004's Doctored Evidence), Leon combines an engrossing, complex plot with an indictment of the corruption endemic to Italian society. The murder of an anonymous African street vendor, an inoffensive, possibly illegal Senegalese immigrant, explodes into a many-layered conundrum. Italian attitudes toward 'Senegali' range from the bargain shoppers' approval of their harmless efforts to earn money selling knock-off accessories to legitimate merchants' outrage at competition from the cheaper goods. After Brunetti discovers uncut diamonds hidden in the victim's spartan room and evidence the room was searched, the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries take over the case and all of Brunetti's pertinent files, papers and computer disappear. Enraged, Brunetti sidesteps normal police procedures and taps into personal and professional sources, uncovering evidence linking the victim, the Angolan civil war, the Italian secret service and an industrial giant with government connections. Many of Leon's favorite characters appear, including the gourmand Brunetti's family, the obsequious Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta and Patta's irreverent secretary, Signorina Elletra. They balance this dark, cynical tale of widespread secrecy, violence and corruption. Agent, Susanne Bauknecht, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland). (May 26)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle. Commissario Guido Brunetti's response is that of everybody involved: Why would anyone kill an illegal immigrant? How far will Brunetti be able to penetrate the murky subculture in this illegal community?