In the landmark thirtieth installment of the bestselling series the New Yorker has called “an unusually potent cocktail of atmosphere and event,” Guido Brunetti is forced to confront an unimaginable crime. In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joy riding in the Laguna with two young Italians. However, Brunetti’s curiosity is aroused by the behavior of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital. If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it? As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. To get to the bottom of what proves to be a gutwrenching case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia Costiera. Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are technologically brilliant and ruthlessly organized. Donna Leon’s Transient Desires is as powerful as any novel she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits and forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this shadowy mystery, Venice’s opulent old-world charm is corrupted by a 21st-century crime. When two young American tourists are left unconscious on a hospital’s boat dock and all signs point to human trafficking, the Italian State Police are called in. Commissario Guido Brunetti, the increasingly world-weary hero of Donna Leon’s long-running series, takes up the case, but it’ll be very difficult to take down an organization with poisonous roots. Leon beautifully captures the sights, sounds, and smells of the beloved Italian city, complete with the underlying dread of a place that’s literally sinking. Narrator David Colacci’s warm tones draw you into the breezy Mediterranean charm before shocking you with the magnitude of heinous crimes hiding just underneath the surface; visualizing the locale’s classic beauty somehow makes the undercurrent of evil cut just a little deeper. Full of twists and shocks, Transient Desires is a turbulent gondola ride that’s definitely worth taking.
It is unbelievable to me that this woman has written 30 books about this Italian cop. Are they all as painfully slow moving and uneventful? I kept waiting for something to happen - guess what- it never did! That is several hours of my life that I will never get back.