Ms. Leon’s work is not the in your face thrill-a minute storyline that I am accustomed to reading bit a slow burning smoldering story that builds in intensity as the book progresses. It comes at you like neighborhood gossip caught at wisps and gestures over the garden fence, like returning for a cup of coffee to a an old and trusted friend as little by little the whole story emerges and you tell yourself ‘of course why didn’t I see it coming.’
I actually started the book before I left on vacation to England, came back and picked up the book and carried on without missing a beat. The slow moving police officers, hampered by the sweltering summer in Venice, go about their business , while looking for shade or heaven forbid actual air-conditioning while laying out two stories for our enjoyment. Inspector Brunetti aides his fellow officer with concerns he has over a charlatan of a palm reader, tarot waving soothsayer that his mother appears to paying a rather unsightly sum to and then the two of them become embroiled in what appears to be a scam in the making involving a lady judge and her bailiff.
When the inspector’s vacation is interrupted to the point of him having to change trains on the way out of town with his family to return to oversee what is the untimely murder of the afore mentioned bailiff does the storyline suddenly take on overtones of menace. The sudden lull in crime in Venice is over-ridden with blackmail, fraud and charges of indecency and Brunetti’s skills are bought to task as he ably puts our fears to rest.
A most delightful tale told at the pace of the hot summer with enough sizzle to the action to keep one intrigued to the last.