Saturday, January 18, 2014
I have never read a novel by Donna Leon and so was unfamiliar with the length series that this book was a part of. However, I don't think that you would be lost if you were to pick up this book like I did and start reading in the middle of the series about this Detective Brunetti.
For me this was an VERY slow read. I am not certain if it was intentional by Leon because that is what the Italian lifestyle is like or if it was an unfortunate outcome of the plot itself. It was really hard to keep my focus and I found myself putting the book down for several days and then picking it back up only to repeat this process.
In terms of the characters and Italy, it was exquisitely written. The description was wonderful and it felt like I was really walking the streets of Italy, embracing their culture, and experiencing a place that I am not familiar with. Leon gives great descriptions of the characters as well and it feels as if the Detective and the reader are old friends.
Unfortunately, the plot didn't really work for me. I found myself not really invested in the murder of Detective Brunetti' wife's student. The only thing that kept me reading was to find out why she was murdered for my own personal interest. It seemed like even Leon was tired of writing it about halfway through and perhaps that is why it dragged. There were still a few twists while trying to solve the murder, but it read more like a travel book documenting the Italian lifestyle than as a murder mystery.
Overall, this novel had great descriptions, but it was a very slow read and dragged on. I think that many individuals who have already read the previous books in the series will love this book. However, if you are a newcomer like myself, I recommend starting with the first book in the series before taking this one on.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
I borrowed this book from a local library; I was not paid or asked to do a review of this book.
The image was taken from Good Reads.