Synopses & Reviews
Donna Leon's charming, evocative, and addictive Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries are widely acclaimed national and international bestsellers, reaching a wider audience in the United States than ever before. Her latest, Suffer the Little Children
, is classic Brunetti, a fantastic addition to the series.
When Commissario Brunetti is summoned in the middle of the night to the hospital bed of a senior pediatrician, he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men a young Carabiniere captain and two privates from out of town had burst into the doctor's apartment while the family was sleeping, attacked him, and taken away his eighteen-month-old boy. What could have motivated an assault by the forces of the state so violent that it has left the doctor mute? Who would have authorized such an alarming operation?
As Brunetti delves into the case, he begins to uncover a story of infertility, desperation, and illegal dealings. At the same time, Brunetti's colleague, Inspector Vianello, discovers a moneymaking scam between pharmacists and doctors in the city. But it appears as if one of the pharmacists is after more than money. What secrets are in the records? And what has been done with them? Donna Leon's new novel is as subtle and fascinating as her best mysteries, set in a beautifully realized Venice, a glorious city seething with small-town vice.
"In Leon's 16th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery, at once astringent yet lyrical, two rival police forces Brunetti and his Venetian colleagues and the carabinieri are both interested in a doctor who illegally adopts an Albanian infant. When three carabinieri break into the doctor's apartment and seize the child at night, they injure the doctor, leaving him mute. Much of the early action takes place in a hospital, and because Venetian hospitals appear only slightly less bureaucratic and Kafkaesque than their stateside counterparts, Leon's marvelous insights into Italian life, so sharp when she explores a military academy in Uniform Justice or glassblowers in Through a Glass, Darkly, aren't as fresh, sinister or compelling here. But once the IVs and bandages give way to vandalism at a pharmacy and the family secrets of a neo-Fascist plumbing tycoon, Leon regains her stride and the novel's last fifth is first-rate and masterful. Leon seldom delivers a 'feel good' ending, choosing instead conclusions that are wise and inevitable while still being unsettling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Not a single murder, but the story would be strong enough without one even without a climactic assault whose only casualty is the characters' moral certitudes." Kirkus Reviews
"Leon's legion of fans...know that the Brunetti series isn't about crime as much as it is about more subtle human failings, and there are plenty of those here..." Booklist
"Leon vividly illustrates the power of fatherhood, captures the nuances of Venetian politics, and provides a finish as satisfying as it is tragic. But what lifts this series far above the norm is the humanity of Brunetti and his family..." Library Journal
Donna Leons charming, evocative, and addictive Commissario Guido Brunetti series continues with Suffer the Little Children. When Commissario Brunetti is summoned in the middle of the night to the hospital bed of a senior pediatrician, he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men -- a young Carabiniere captain and two privates from out of town -- have burst into the doctor's apartment in the middle of the night, attacked him and taken away his eighteenth-month old baby boy. What could have motivated an assault by the forces of the state so violent it has left the doctor mute? Who would have authorized such an alarming operation? At the same time, Brunettis colleague Inspector Vianello discovers a money-making scam between pharmacists and doctors in the city. But it appears as if one of the pharmacists is after more than money. Donna Leon's new novel is as subtle and fascinating as ever, set in a beautifully-realized Venice, a glorious city seething with small-town vice.
About the Author
Donna Leon has written four previous Guido Brunetti novels, Death and Judgment, Dressed for Death, Death in a Strange Country, and Death at La Fenice, which won the Suntory Prize for the best suspense novel of 1991. She teaches English at the University of Maryland extension at a U.S. Air Force base near Venice Italy, where she has lived for over twenty years.