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So Shall You Reap

So Shall You Reap

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When he saw Brunetti, the Ispettore leaned forward and opened the back door of the cab, then went round and got in on the other side. The murder of two clam fishermen off the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, draws Brunetti into the close-knit community of the island, bound together by a code of loyalty and a suspicion of outsiders worthy of the Mafia. The rude, sneery and prejudiced way the two policemen spoke about demonstrators against Gay pride and "anti -vax" rallies was nearly a book refund moment. Brunetti muttered, ‘It’s like he doesn’t really exist,’ which led him to wonder how many of the other officers didn’t really exist for him, and that led him to wonder if all of them had managed to separate their private lives from their professional lives. Fazio managed to get the names and addresses of a few people who were there, but – you know how it is – no one saw anything.

Not the train drivers, not the remaining No-Vax, not the workers at Marghera – who seemed in a perpetual state of protest – and not medical professionals, who had protested two weeks before.

The beauty for me in these books is in the little things, the details of everyday life and small interactions between the city’s people. The Brunetti family didn’t feature in it much and the solution to the murder mystery was easy to work out from clues scattered throughout the book. The victim has left clues in a copy of Dante and Brunetti must descend into an inferno to discover who is burning the land and fouling the waters of the lagoon.

Entry Island by Peter May, set in the present day Magdalen Islands, part of the province of Quebec, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and in the nineteenth century on the Isle of Lewis at the time of the Highland Clearances. Brunetti had no idea if this was lack of security or whether the two of them somehow looked like policemen and were thus left alone.Donna Leon’s books unfold like an onion, layer by layer, thoughtfully, compassionately, humorously, but with little wiggle room for the perpetrator. Sime is suffering from insomnia, a situation made worse by the fact that his ex-wife is also on the investigating team.

While there is an interesting plot, don’t read this book for fast action, but rather savor the words and thoughts, the pace of daily life in La Serenissima. He looked past them, as though there were a projection of the first page of the Gazzettino flashing on the wall behind them.My thanks to Grove Atlantic for providing an early copy of this book, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, with no identification except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress. But before Brunetti can begin his investigation, he is surprised by the appearance in his office of a friend of his wife’s, who is fearful that her son is using drugs. So nice to visit again with all the familiar actors, flamboyant Signora Elletra, strong and wise Paola, philosophical Guido, comical Patta, capable Griffoni, loyal Foa.

It was a pleasant Buddhist Sri Lankan, Inesh Kavinda, who was living in the garden shed of the Palazzo Zaffo Sri Leonie. On a cold night shortly before Christmas, an immigrant street vendor is killed in Venice’s Campo Santo Stefano. Guido's wife Paola, an English professor, prepares delicious meals and the family discusses all manner of interesting things, like the statue of the wild boar in Venice, and the ethics of eating meat. Donna Leon provides another delectable slice of the thoughtful policeman’s life at work and at home… So Shall You Reap is as witty and wise as anything Leon has written. That a soul could have lived such a joyless life is too much for Paola to bear, and she asks Guido if he can find out what happened.The body is soon found, and Brunetti is assigned to investigate the murder of an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. I read it eagerly, keen to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the deaths of two clam fishermen, father and son, off the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, when their boat suddenly exploded. But as Brunetti – and the indispensable Signorina Elettra – investigate further, no one seems willing to talk, as the military protects its own and civilians keep their own counsel.



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