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'Donna Leon has a wonderful feel for the hidden evils that lie below the façade of the magical city' The Times
Important information is leaking from inside the Venetian Questura, and Commissario Guido Brunetti is tasked with uncovering the culprit. But before Brunetti can begin his investigation, a friend of his wife's comes asking for his help, fearful that her son is using drugs.
A few weeks later, the woman's husband is found unconscious at the foot of a bridge.
With only contradictory leads to follow, Brunetti navigates his way through Venice's underworld in an attempt to understand who is responsible for the vicious attack. But as he gets closer to discovering what happened, Brunetti is faced with a difficult truth: sometimes, it's the best intentions that lead to the darkest of consequences . . .
'Enchanting . . . drolly amusing . . . it's the living, bleeding humanity of the characters that makes Donna Leon's police procedurals so engaging' New York Times Book Review
In Leon's thought-provoking 27th Commissario Guido Brunetti novel (after 2017's Earthly Remains), Elisa Crosera, a university colleague of Brunetti's wife, fears that her teenage son has fallen prey to unidentified drug dealers and approaches him for help. Armed only with an informant's tip, the Venetian policeman checks into the activities of a longtime dealer recently released from prison. When Crosera's accountant husband, Tullio Gasparini, is found on a bridge, suffering from serious head injuries, Brunetti wonders whether Gasparini was pursuing his own investigation and posed a threat to his son's drug connections. As Brunetti looks into Gasparini's movements and background, he uncovers strange behavior by Gasparini's aged aunt that may point to more sinister doings. Amid the procedural aspects of the case, vivid descriptions of Venice, and interludes with Brunetti's pesky superior, Leon offers intelligent reflections on the fallout that can harm both innocent and guilty in the quest for justice.