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Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti 14)
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Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti 14) [Format Kindle]

Donna Leon
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Guido Brunetti, the protagonist of Donna Leon's brilliant series about crime in high and low places in Venice, Italy, is back in a smart thriller about a murdered street vendor, one of the illegal immigrants who sell fake fashion accessories outside the tourist mecca's high-priced boutiques while trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Someone had a reason for wanting the nameless African man dead, and the search for the killers and the men who sent them to Brunetti's beloved and beautifully evoked city shortly before Christmas leads the thoughtful, multifaceted and uxorious Commissario to the unfamiliar Venetian milieu where the vu cumpra live. In the cramped, airless room where the Senegalese vendors manage to find shelter, Guido discovers a fortune in so-called "conflict diamonds" hidden among the murdered man's meager belongings. But finding the diamonds' provenance and the killers who were seeking them proves to be an exercise in bureaucratic misdirection. Warned off the case by his boss in the name of "national security," Guido nonetheless persists with his investigation, in the course of which he discovers what--and who--really matters to him. Leon depicts the city she also clearly loves with such skill the reader can almost hear the watter lapping at the edges of the canals and smell the espresso beans roasting in the crisp cold winter air. A tour de force from an author whose reputation for skillful plotting, extraordinary descriptive powers, and complex characters has earned her a loyal base of fans; if you haven't discovered her work before this, Blood from a Stone will only whet your appetite for her extensive backlist of titles featuring Brunetti and his colleagues. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this stunning novel, the 14th to feature the dogged, intuitive Venetian police detective Guido Brunetti (after 2004's Doctored Evidence), Leon combines an engrossing, complex plot with an indictment of the corruption endemic to Italian society. The murder of an anonymous African street vendor, an inoffensive, possibly illegal Senegalese immigrant, explodes into a many-layered conundrum. Italian attitudes toward "Senegali" range from the bargain shoppers' approval of their harmless efforts to earn money selling knock-off accessories to legitimate merchants' outrage at competition from the cheaper goods. After Brunetti discovers uncut diamonds hidden in the victim's spartan room and evidence the room was searched, the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries take over the case and all of Brunetti's pertinent files, papers and computer disappear. Enraged, Brunetti sidesteps normal police procedures and taps into personal and professional sources, uncovering evidence linking the victim, the Angolan civil war, the Italian secret service and an industrial giant with government connections. Many of Leon's favorite characters appear, including the gourmand Brunetti's family, the obsequious Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta and Patta's irreverent secretary, Signorina Elletra. They balance this dark, cynical tale of widespread secrecy, violence and corruption. Agent, Susanne Bauknecht, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland). (May 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Blood from a stone 19 décembre 2012
Par amcgamcg
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce livre est parmi les meilleurs de Donna Leon. Il vous fait réfléchir à un problème qui préoccupe la plupart des pays "développés". La corruption italienne y est tacite, et la fin du livre montre que pour le moment il n'y a pas encore de solution puisqu'on la cherche dans la mauvaise direction...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  73 commentaires
49 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Leon draws 'Blood from a Stone' in expert fashion! 24 mars 2005
Par Billy J. Hobbs - Publié sur
Another episode in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series cannot come too soon! In this, the 14th book, Leon's inimitable policeman is once agan, well, inimitable. It

was a dark, icy and anything sleepy wintry night in Venice, when suddenly five shots ring out, or so it goes. However, Leon's "Blood from a Stone" is anything but simple or trite.

A young African man, a "vu compra" (one of the illegal immigrants known as "venditore ambulante," who sell counterfeit designer luggage in the local squares) is shot dead by two

men. It is so professionally done that when Brunetti arrives on the scene, there is little wonder that little or no evidence, save the dead body, remains. What does remain, however, is enough to trigger Brunetti's suspicion that this is no ordinary shooting and that darker, more sinister, even evil, forces lie simply beneath the surface.

Thus, armed with his usual loyal team members (Signorina Ellatra and Sgt. Vianello,among others), Brunetti once again sets out to solve this case and once again he meets head on the opposition from his own superiors. By now, of course, Brunetti knows that

there is a much bigger picture here and to tread lightly is an undestatement. Still, with his usual tenacity, teamed up with his own unique code of ethics ("for an Italian law officer"),

he begins the investigation, which, as Leon usually does, leads us into waters where no angels (or sensible police chiefs) would dare to tread. "Blood from a Stone" looks into a red-hot international political picture, one very real and seems to know no boundaries, or even depths to which it extends. These socially significant issues generally transcend into Brunetti's personal life, his wife (an academician and healthy liberal in her own right at a Venezian university) and two children. It is perhaps this familial inclusion that makes Leon's Brunetti a more humane, compassionate individual, one whom any ready can

readily respect and admire.

Leon's prose seems to capture the tone and atmosphere of the "pearl of the Adriatic" perfectly. "Opposite them a small group was gathered around three buskers, two violinists and a cellist, who were playing a piece that sounded both baroque and out of tune." Venice, Leon's home of record now, has a special appeal to Leon and as an American ex-patriot she seems content not only to expound on its beauty and pluses, but to address

those areas, especially the corruption, that she feels need addressing. "The Paganelli(Brunetti observes) was a narrow hotel, slipped in, like an architectural dash separating

two capital letters, between the Danieli and the Savoia & Jolanda."

As in her other books, Leon makes no effort to hide her criticism of local (and national) graft and corruption, which seem to permeate all levels and all classes. Each of her books tends to concernate, but not exclusively, on a major issue, whether it be political, religious, social, economic, or human rights. Leon's prose reflects a depth of understanding of these issues that perhaps many of the other police procedural authors avoid (with the exception, perhaps of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Martha Grimes, at times). Not that a novelist has any obligation to go after social injustices, for, after all, one characteristic of fiction is merely to entertain and there are many, many fine novels which do so.

But "Blood from a Stone" certainly is one of Leon's best, a great sign that her series is not

weakening or running out of steam. Here's to future Brunetti episodes!
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 4 1/2 stars: an excellent and lyrical read 3 avril 2005
Par tregatt - Publié sur
Reading Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti is always a treat for me, and this latest Brunetti installment proved to be as engrossing and as enjoyable as previous books in the series. But truth be told, the mystery took a while to unfold, and unwound at a much slower rate than previous mysteries. On the other hand, this difference still not affect the overall lyricism or grace of the book. Commissario Brunetti is still a policeman whose main objective is to do his job well, honestly and fairly, in spite of the corruption around him. In this case, "Blood From a Stone," Brunetti tries to discover why a Senegalese street peddler, a vu cumpra, was professionally shot down in public. Because the man was, in all probability, an illegal immigrant, the police have little to no knowledge of who he was or why he was killed; and because of his illegal status, the likelihood of someone coming forward to identify him and provide vital details is next to nil. Frustrated but undaunted, Brunetti and his faithful colleagues (Vianello & Signorina Elettra) plod on, using whatever useful contacts they have to learn more about the Senegalese immigrants, and why someone would want to kill one of them. But even before they can get very far in their investigations, they're warned off by Vice-Questore Patta (Brunetti's boss the bane of his life). Patta intimates that they'd all be better off if Brunetti backs off. And while Brunetti is not a big fan of Patta's, he cannot help but wonder who could scare or influence Patta enough to ensure that he warned Brunetti off. Irreggardless of Patta's warning, Brunetti presses on, only to make a discovery among the dead man's things that really puts the fat on the fire...

In spite of the sedate pacing, "Blood From a Stone" was still a fantastic read. Donna Leon is a masterful storyteller. Competently, she sets the stage -- the Christmas season in Venice, the cold, the tourists, the vu compra and the invisible life they seem to lead -- and then, brilliantly, without lecturing, she makes political point, fusing it to the novel and making it the focal point of the book. But everything is gracefully done, making this incredibly engaging novel a very riveting read. And at the heart of everything, is the series' moral and stalwart hero, Commissario Guido Brunetti, a man whose need to discover the truth and punish the guilty, is what makes this series (and this book, in particular) so very compelling and enjoyable. All in all an excellent read, not to be missed.
19 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Commissario Brunetti Winner 24 mars 2005
Par Carlo Vennarucci - Publié sur
Donna Leon's 14th Guido Brunetti mystery novel explores contemporary issues in Italy and the magical city of Venice. She skillfully uses her good Commissario, his family, and his colleagues to make political and social statements about Italy and global problems.

The story begins with the execution-style murder of an illegal African street vendor in a busy Venetian campo while he was attempting to sell his fake designer handbags to a group of American tourists. (An African street seller is called a vú cumprá, which is an Italian slang term for you wanna buy? -- the official and more PC Italian term is extracomunitario.) Commissario Brunetti, called to investigate the killing, realizes just how little he knows about these illegal street sellers -- where they're from, how they got to Italy, where they live, how they survive. With the help of his loyal sidekick Vianello, and the stunning, computer savvy Signorina Elettra, he gets a foothold on the case when he locates where the victim lived. He finds some critical evidence in the vú cumprá's apartment, but doesn't report it because he doesn't trust it in the hands of the police hierarchy. Just when he is making progress on the case, Vice Questore Patta, Brunetti's annoying, slow-witted boss, orders him to stop the investigation which has been taken over by not one but two Italian ministries in Rome. Naturally, Brunetti, determined to find out what is behind all this intrigue, disobeys and has to tap into his connected and powerful father-in-law, Count Falier, in his search for answers.

The book is set at Christmas time in Venice. Leon describes the seasonal festivities in marvelous detail. As always, Brunetti's wife Paola and kids Chiara and Raffi get a fair amount of stage time. We join them for gourmet lunches and dinners, go Christmas shopping with them, and witness major disagreements between mother and daughter. Leon is sympathetic to the plight of the vú cumprá and to the misfortunes of Africa. As usual, American tourists and the corrupt Italian bureaucracy come under here critical gaze.

In Blood from a Stone, we are introduced to some interesting characters -- Claudio Stein, who was close to Brunetti's father during and after World War II; Don Alvise, a socially active ex-priest who left the church because of disagreements on giving assistance to African immigrants; Renato Sandrini, a resentful criminal defense attorney who owes Brunetti some favors and is married to the daughter of a local mafia don; and, Azir Mahani, an Iranian immigrant teenager who is Chiara's new friend.

This book is a must read. Donna Leon is such a marvelous writer.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 want to buy? 3 janvier 2006
Par Linda Pagliuco - Publié sur
Blood from a Stone is a worthy addition to Leon's collection of Venice based mysteries tackled by the admirable Guido Brunetti. What I particularly enjoy about these novels is the genuine humanity displayed by Guido and his family. After 2 decades in the sordid world of crime, in a police dept with decidedly uncertain backing from the state, Guido has managed to retain his compassion for victims and his dedication to the cause of serving justice. His devotion to wife and family is always heartening to see, as Paola and he struggle to raise their 2 teenagers to become thinking, caring adults. Class struggles, political machinations, and the crime of the day itself all combine to provide a realistic picture of life in a city which is all too easy to regard as a romantic fairy tale of a place. Having seen hundreds of "vu compera" ("want to buy?") while on vacation, it was interesting to learn something about their way of life, their motivations and problems. This is also the first occasion on which Guido has had to consider the dangers inherent in the research methods he and the indomitable Senorina Electra employ.
I listened to the audio version, and enjoyed the narration with its wide variety of accents and personalities.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not Her Best 19 juin 2006
Par zorba - Publié sur
I love the Brunetti books, but this one just seems to miss the gondola, as it were. It's a mystery in which which Brunetti seems to be more of a spectator than the solving sleuth. Even Leon's usually amusing interchanges between Brunetti and his boss Patta lack spark here. About the only thing in which this book excels is Leon's descriptions of Venice. Armed with my map of the city, I follow all the action canal-by-canal, calle-by-calle. So, mainly for the travelogue I give it three stars. Donna Leon is a superstar in my book and I guess she is allowed to occasionally boot one. Hope her next book regains the artistry that her previous offerings do.
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