Friday, November 6, 2009
"The Girl of his Dreams", by Donna Leon
17th novel in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series
True to her self, Donna Leon covers the location and characters and highlights the characteristics we have come to love in this series: the portrayal of the city of Venice in all its beauty and problems, the warmth of Brunetti’s family life and the social conscience he illustrates, also his personal war against corruption.
The story opens with the funeral of Guido’s mother in San Michele. A few days later, the priest who had performed the ceremony approaches Brunetti and accuses another cleric of a criminal act. While looking into this matter, another case is brought to his attention, the body of a Romany child; a 10 year old girl is discovered in the water. The investigations revolve around Brunetti’s home life in San Polo and the diverse locations surrounding the cases. By the end of the book, I found myself a little confused, too many loose ends…
The themes of this book: anti-cleric, Romany crime, political correctness and the vulnerability of children are integrated into the plot in an allusive and subtle manner. The usual figures are present: Paola and the kids, Signorina Electra and Patta being their same old selves….things are getting boring…. Although I was fully absorbed at the beginning I was disappointed by the end. I found the initial case petered out and the second case lacked a satisfying conclusion.
I find this series although enjoyable up till now has run its course, too predictable. I wonder if Ms Leon is running out of ideas, maybe it is time for Commissario Brunetti to retire.