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Beastly Things: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Hardcover – Apr 3 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (April 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120236
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 6 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Beastly Things" is, I believe, the 21st novel in Donna Leon's long-running Commissario Guido Brunetti series set in contemporary Venice. In this installment, the body of a man is pulled from an out-of-the-way canal, but he is found to have been stabbed to death, not drowned by accident. There is no clue as to his identity except that he seems to have a strange bodily malformation, a very swollen chest and neck. This fact leads Brunetti to the man's identity; he was a veterinarian who also worked as an inspector at a slaughterhouse, inspecting the live animals to be certain that they're healthy and then inspecting samples of the resulting meat to make sure it's not contaminated. All is not as it seems at the abbatoir, however, and soon Brunetti finds himself questioning the very food he eats.... As always, it is a delight to enter Leon's Venice - having never been there, I have no idea if it's an accurate representation, but I love the way Brunetti and his colleagues and family go about their lives in this enchanted place that is so very familiar to them. And Brunetti remains one of the most thoughtful, philosophical even, detectives in all of modern detective literature; he, and the other main characters, are so finely drawn and such real, complex human beings that one hopes to visit Venice one day and have a prosecco with them all. I am sad that I received this book yesterday (as I write this) and finished it today, even though I tried very hard to draw out the reading experience; it means another year or so before a new novel in the series arrives to delight me all over again. Reading this book just may make the reader consider becoming a vegetarian (which I am not - at present), be warned that there are some graphic scenes of the work inside an abbatoir. Aside from that squeamishness, this book is highly, highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 27 2012
Format: Hardcover
"So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners." -- Proverbs 1:19 (NKJV)

Unlike many mystery writers, Donna Leon seems to be getting better and better in this series. Her glimpses behind the tourist sites into the venality of Venice reach a new height in Beastly Things. Do be prepared for ugliness of the sort that even crime novels don't often reach . . . that may upset you, her purpose, I'm sure.

Commissario Guido Brunetti leads a murder investigation into a dead man with an unusual disease who is found in the canals. It takes awhile to establish his identity, and the plot picks up steam from there. The ugliness connects to how human weakness leads to evil doing, even by the police as Brunetti and Vianello grow ever too comfortable with Signorina Elletra's illegal electronic ways. Perhaps no Brunetti novel better captures the moral message of what sin does to the perpetrators . . . and to those who come into contact with them.

What I liked best was the way Ms. Leon captured the venality of what crime often amounts to, a greedy desire to have more regardless of the consequences. If you have a queasy stomach, be prepared for a powerfully written description of what happens in some slaughterhouses. You may find yourself eating more vegetables.

Brava!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Paine on April 21 2012
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book. Worth reading. I really like this series.

If you are a sensitive person just be advised that there is a scene describing how farm animals are slaughtered but you can skipped that scene and not worry about missing anything.
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