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Uniform Justice


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The new Commissario Brunetti novel, darker and more moving than ever before. Donna Leon at her most human best.

About the Author

Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers. She is an award-winning crime novelist, celebrated for the bestselling Brunetti series. Donna has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Donna's books have been translated into 35 languages and have been published around the world. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Fatal Remedies, Doctored Evidence, A Sea of Troubles and Beastly Things.


In this superb novel, Leon's latest in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series (A Noble Radiance, etc.), the Venetian police detective and family man is summoned to the exclusive San Martino Military Academy, where Cadet Ernesto Moro has been found dead, hanging in the lavatory. The other cadets and the academy brass give a chilly reception to any "civilians" who trespass into their midst, including the Venetian police. Believing Cadet Moro was the victim of homicide rather than suicide, Brunetti traces a sinister trail that leads to the dead boy's father, a doctor-turned-politician who once revealed then ducked the ramifications of a military procurement scandal. This is not the Venice of Thomas Mann or Henry James-the palazzos, gondoliers and Doges' monuments are all but overlooked. Leon's city is winter-cold and gray, with corruption rather than gilt glinting through the fog, and a culture in the grip of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy that runs on secrets and bribes. Humane and intelligent, a good man working in an impossible system, Brunetti displays an acerbic, economical wisdom. The plot flows along like the Adriatic tide through a narrow canal-swift, none-too-clean and inevitable. This is an outstanding book, deserving of the widest audience possible, a chance for American readers to again experience a master practitioner's art. (Sept. 29) Forecast: A 50,000-copy first printing and a $75,000 promotional budget, plus a contest aimed at booksellers and librarians for a free trip for two to Venice, will help raise the profile of an author who hasn't been published in the U.S. since 1996. European reviewers consistently put Leon in the same class as Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, and American critics should start doing the same. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Commissario Brunetti, a sleuth equal to Easy Rawlins, Lou Harper, and Philip Marlowe, appreciates the subtle differences between justice and revenge, embarrassment and humiliation, compulsion and corruption. A master of bureaucratic misdirection and an astute judge of character, Brunetti skillfully navigates the canals of Venetian subterfuge, while remaining unusually close to his intuitive spouse. In Doctored Evidence, a Romanian housekeeper is accused of murdering her Euro-pinching employer. Only Brunetti believes in her innocence, and his investigation leads him to an astonishingly apt and scholarly conclusion. In Uniform Justice, Brunetti investigates the suspicious suicide of a young military cadet at a prestigious academy, and with customary aplomb finds the underlying cause for the young man's death. David Colacci capably narrates both works; although his voice is distinctly American, he handles the Italian pronunciations with ease. Both works belong in public libraries; very highly recommended.-Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"There is the joy of contemplating Venice: the veiled and ancient heroine, with a sad haunted beauty slipping away year by year. Read it is the dusk, with a grappa" -- Libby Purves * Good Book Guide *
"Brunetti ... long ago joined the ranks of the classic fictional detectives" * Evening Standard *
"Complex and thought-provoking and lingers in the mind" * Sunday Times *
"Wonderfully familiar characters, a powerful sense of place and expert plotting" * Guardian *

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