About Face

About Face

eBook - 2009
Average Rating:
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Donna Leon's eighteen novels have won her countless fans, heaps of critical acclaim, and a place among the top ranks of international crime writers. Through the warm-hearted, perceptive, and principled Commissario Guido Brunetti, Leon's best-selling books have explored Venice in all its aspects: history, tourism, high culture, food, family, but also violent crime and political corruption. In About Face, Leon returns to one of her signature subjects: the environment, which has reached a crisis in Italy. Incinerators across the south of Italy are at full capacity, burning who-knows-what and releasing unacceptable levels of dangerous air pollutants, while in Naples, enormous garbage piles grow in the streets. In Venice, with the polluted waters of the canals and a major chemical complex across the lagoon, the issue is never far from the fore. Environmental concerns become significant in Brunetti's work when an investigator from the Carabiniere, looking into the illegal hauling of garbage, asks for a favor. But the investigator is not the only one with a special request. His father-in-law needs help and a mysterious woman comes into the picture. Brunetti soon finds himself in the middle of an investigation into murder and corruption more dangerous than anything he's seen before.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2009
ISBN: 9780802199980
0802199984
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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m
maipenrai
Dec 09, 2016

(Book 18 in the Guido Brunetti series)

g
gloryjb
Nov 16, 2016

This novel follows a pattern I have noticed in some of Leon's novels. The first murder occurs about mid-way in the novel. Up to that point, a minor plot, has been developed which later merges with the plot dealing with the murder investigation. The violence usually has to do with some aspect of Venetian political life. In this story the Mafia, disposal of garbage, and polluted waters fill that purpose. Throughout, the story is peppered with Venetian descriptions as Leon has Brunetti walk around Venice notably in the Dorsodura district where he meets his contacts in the main campo, enjoys an ice cream nearby, visits his in-laws, and hears the bells of its various churches. Similarly, the blocks around Brunetti's office, the Questra, are described - particularly the coffee shops and the San Lorenzo church. Some of the action even occurs in the casino and Brunetti has many rides in the police launch up and down the canals. These descriptions are also enjoyable for readers, more so perhaps, I would imagine, if one has visited Venice. The storytelling is low-key just like investigations perhaps are in Venice. An enjoyable read which brings together many factors - a likable detective, minimal violence, and a realistic plot set in intriguing Venice.

d
DorisWaggoner
Mar 02, 2016

One of Leon's best, and one of Brunetti's best. (Spoiler here is included in the Publisher's Weekly review.) He faces the environmental disasters of Italy in general, and Venice in particular. He also deals with Italy's corruption, both political and personal. His father-in-law asks his advice (usually it's the other way around) when a rich man wants him to invest in garbage hauling. Murder ensues. Brunetti must also deal with the man's beautiful trophy wife, whose face lift went disastrously wrong. Not only does he have a complicated case to solve, but moral issues involve his family.

i
ilovewhippets
Jan 06, 2015

Interesting story! Well-written!

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