Friday, 22 April 2011

CRIME REVIEW: Drawing Conclussions - Donna Leon

Release Date: 07/04/11


When a young woman returns from holiday to find her elderly neighbour dead, she immediately alerts the police. Commissario Brunetti is called to the scene but, though there are signs of a struggle, it seems the woman has simply suffered a fatal heart attack. Vice-Questore Patta is eager to dismiss the case as a death from natural causes, but Brunetti believes there is more to it than that. His suspicions are further aroused when the medical examiner finds faint bruising around the victim's neck and shoulders, indicating that someone might have grabbed and shaken her. Could this have caused her heart attack? Was someone threatening her? Conversations with the woman's son, her upstairs neighbour, and the nun in charge of the old-age home where she volunteered, do little to satisfy Brunetti's nagging curiosity. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, Brunetti is determined to get to the truth and find some measure of justice. Insightful and emotionally powerful, Drawing Conclusions reaffirms Donna Leon's status as one of the masters of literary crime fiction.


I love books that take me not only on a journey but almost scenically through a place I’ve never been to before. That is perhaps what I have to say is Donna Leon’s main strength in this crime novel as it plays out in Venice. The tale has some great characterisation with the principle player, Commissario Guido Brunetti whose deductions as well as thought proses are almost Doylesque within this title. Back that up with a wonderful descriptive prose, some clever behind the scenes sleight of hand as well as an overall arc that will keep the reader glued to the last page.

My only real criticism of this title is that it feels that it’s rounded up a little too nicely and a little to quickly in the final few pages. All in a good solid piece of writing and one that really made this crime title worth the effort.

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