Earthly Remains

Earthly Remains

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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"Donna Leon's bestselling mystery novels have won a multitude of fans for their insider's portrayal of Venice. From family meals to vaporetti rides, the details and rhythms of everyday life are an integral part of this beloved series. But so are the never-ending influx of tourists and the suffocating corruption. Through it all, Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti, a good man who loves his family and his city, has been an enduring figure, but in Earthly Remains, Brunetti's endurance is tested more than ever before. During an interrogation, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he quickly comes to regret, and in the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break. Granted leave from the Questura, Brunetti's wife Paola ships him off to a villa owned by a wealthy relative on Sant'Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny's Natural History. The recuperative stay goes according to plan until David Casati, the caretaker of the house, goes missing following a sudden storm. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to the man who had become his friend"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017
Edition: First Grove Atlantic edition
ISBN: 9780802126474
0802126472
Characteristics: 308 pages : map ; 24 cm

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d
dnk
Dec 13, 2017

This is the second Brunetti mystery I've read, and while they are separated by two decades, the theme is the same: it doesn't matter if Brunetti discovers the dirty truth at the rotten core of Venetian society, he can't use it to further justice when old money and political power are standing in his way. While it's dark and on some levels unsatisfying, it's more true to life and explains how Leon can maintain a hero for as long as she has. But here's hoping Brunetti decides he's had enough before Leon does and blows up the center of Venice on his way out.

h
htliang
Oct 30, 2017

This is an unusual Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. Brunetti fakes a heart attack to prevent Pucetti attacking a man during an interrogation. The result of this rash act is a medical leave of absence. Brunetti stays in the Sant'Erasmo villa of a wealthy relative of his wife, Paola. This (real) island is located in the Venetian Lagoon. Brunetti meets an old rowing friend of his father, Davide Casati, and spends much time exploring the laguna with this troubled man. When Casati goes missing, Brunetti investigates.
Although this story was slow, it was rich in detail. I enjoyed the relationships, the atmosphere, and the underlying message. Great read!

s
Sandee
Aug 31, 2017

I enjoyed this book very much. Most of the first half of the book is spent rowing on the laguna in hot July weather (great for summer reading, or winter reading when one wishes to be reminded of summer). The death was not unexpected, the search for the truth was interesting, and the final "reveal" made for as good an ending as one could hope for in the mystery book.

s
sandfordross
Aug 28, 2017

There is no question that Donna Leon is one of the better crime writers going but this latest offering is not up to her standards. It is interesting enough but there is a feel that it has been "churned" out. Lots of loose ends and unfinished trails. To me, it is a book written to generate income with not her usual concise analysis and gradations. I truly hope her next offering will be up to her usual standards.

I think Cammilleri or Dibden would be a better offer for people exploring Italian policing, although Leons' references to Venice are always a treat.

d
DorisWaggoner
Aug 08, 2017

Brunetti hasn't realized how burned out he and his coworker are until he over-reacts to protect his subordinate from the power of a suspect being interviewed in the drugging death of a young girl. Brunetti ends up in the ER, where the doctor realizes he's not ill, but that his blood pressure's dangerously high from stress. She recommends a few weeks away on his own. Paola suggests he stay at an island villa of her aunt. He discovers much in common with the caretaker, Casati, who had been his late father's only friend. Every day, the two men go rowing. Then one morning, after a terrible storm, Casati's missing. Brunetti joins the search, and is the one to find him, drowned, under his capsized boat. He automatically takes pictures before police pull the body out of the water. Brunetti and his colleague Claudia interview two old work colleagues of Casati's, all 3 of whom were injured in a work accident decades before, to find out more about Casati and what happened in that accident. They don't get very far in solving the mystery, until Casati's son-in-law looks at the photos Brunetti took. A very frightening story with a surprisingly satisfying ending.

r
rdrebit
Jul 21, 2017

Just as I got into the book, it took 40% of the book to get to the crime, the book was over. The ending will be unacceptable to many, and reality to others.

p
pokano
Jul 19, 2017

Leon's books usually have a social theme and this one is no different--illegal toxic waste dumping. Brunetti's blood pressure is high, so he's on medical leave and goes to a small island near Venice to relax and recuperate. The grounds keeper was a friend of his father's but mysteriously disappears after a couple of weeks.

l
laphampeak
Jun 29, 2017

Slow with a plot that was tenuous at best. I skimmed which is not always a good sign.
The setting was interesting in its watery geography and the characters were in their right roles.
It just lacked oomph!

r
randalljay
Jun 02, 2017

In the first 5 chapters, Brunetti turns into Inspector Clouseau - very odd start. The rest moves along at a relatively slow pace; I was waiting for something to happen. Mainly an essay on ecology in the region.

b
bansidthe
May 29, 2017

I did not care for this novel. I found it tedious and unsatisfying.

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