Commissario Brunetti delves into the shadows of a Venetian family’s past in this “gripping intellectual mystery” in the New York Times–bestselling series (Publishers Weekly).
In A Noble Radiance, a new landowner is summoned urgently to his house not far from Venice when workmen accidentally unearth a macabre grave. The human corpse is badly decomposed, but a ring found nearby proves to be a clue that reopens an infamous case of kidnapping involving one of Venice’s most aristocratic families. Only Commissario Brunetti can unravel the clues and find his way into both the hearts of patrician Venice and that of a family grieving for their abducted son.
“Goes a long way to confirming Donna Leon’s claim to have taken literary possession of Venice . . . A Noble Radiance gives the reader a delightful foretaste of the summer holidays to come, but it also offers much more than that.” —The Independent on Sunday
“The marvel of this book is that almost every detail on every page forms part of a succession of clues, planted with exquisite precision, to unraveling the mystery.” —The Sunday Times
“Brunetti emerges as an intelligent, somewhat world-weary individual who believes in his cause if not the system itself. In short, he’s the ideal protagonist for this culturally rich mystery.” —Publishers Weekly
“In her detective novels with Commissario Brunetti, Donna Leon can paralyze the reader with a joyful suspense, lost in the environs of Venice and hopelessly in love with her central character and his wife.” —Mail on Sunday
Providing insight into Venetian society through the lens of a gripping intellectual mystery, this atmospheric tale from Leon (Uniform Justice, etc.) finds Inspector Guido Brunetti investigating an aristocratic family with a shady past. When a rural landowner discovers the body of Roberto Lorenzoni, who was kidnapped two years earlier, Brunetti immediately suspects the victim's family. The Lorenzoni clan bears the legacy of betraying the Jews of Venice during World War II, and from these ashes, its members have created a thriving enterprise. Roberto's cousin Maurizio, who's next in line to inherit the family fortune and business, is the logical suspect, but Brunetti senses something more insidious at play. As he works his way through Italian three-course meals and family crises, he uncovers disturbing details about the Lorenzoni family. Leon deftly depicts the tensions between Brunetti and his ambitious Sicilian boss, as well as the irony of the justice system ("Imprisoned parricides receive fan mail; officialdom and Mafia dance hand in hand toward the ruin of the state"). Brunetti emerges as an intelligent, somewhat world-weary individual who believes in his cause if not the system itself. In short, he's the ideal protagonist for this culturally rich mystery.