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Earthly Remains Audiobook – Unabridged Donna Leon (Author),

A fine novel–less classic crime story and more an elegy for a man and a place. The latter theme is common in Donna Leon’s previous Commissario Brunetti books as she uses them to bring to the fore the environmental and political plagues that her adopted city, Venice, continues to endure. In "Earthly Remains", Brunetti is on a short sabbatical from the suffocating venality and other criminal behavior that he witnesses every day on the job. He retreats to an island in the Venetian lagoon north of the city, and finds instant peace and comfort in the rural isolation, physical exercise (cycling and rowing) and bonding with an old family friend, Davide Casati, who turns out to be the caretaker of the villa where Brunetti is in residence for two weeks. A big, and fully enjoyable chunk of this novel, is focused on Brunetti’s relationship with Casati and their time spent on the waters of the lagoon, observing wild life and the geographic marvels of the place. When Casati goes missing one morning, the story takes a turn toward the dark, and the rest of the novel is an investigation of the disappearance and eventually the reasons for Casati’s victimization. The author’s concerns about the pernicious elements eating away at Venice and its environment are eloquently stated (and not new) and her frustration (voiced through Brunetti) with the avariciousness and lack of self-restraint by Italian industry and the very slow grinding of the gears of the Italian justice system are spelled out in detail in "Earthly Remains". This will offend some readers whose faith in unrestrained capitalism is still intact. A visit to Meghara, the noxious industrial suburb of Venice, would certainly clarify what author Leon is referring to for anyone. This is one of Leon’s best Brunetti books, in my opinion. It’s more personal and starkly heartfelt by an observer who is watching the gradual destruction of the city and region that she loves Check it out!

Earthly Remains Audiobook – Unabridged Donna Leon (Author), Review

Its book No. 26 in Donna Leons mesmerizing Guido Brunetti series. And, hot off the presses, our Ms Leon continues to hold us hostage to one of the best police procedurals on the market. Ms Leon always presents a fresh look, a new angle, and continuing depth of character in her series. In addition to openly criticizing the Italian governing bodies for their corruption and ineptitude, especially in Venice, where her books are set, she always addresses at least one socially relevant issue in each book, as she does here. In "Earthly Remains," we find our inimitable Brunetti embroiled in a touchy, personal situation. During the interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he quickly comes to regret. A break is what is suggestedand he feels he needs. Taking leave, he settles in at a villa owned by a wealthy relative and he proceeds to assume that rest and relaxation is exactly what he needs. Alas, theres no rest for the wicked, the weary, or the just and fair. His days of leisure are broken when the caretaker of the villa, with whom he has soundly bonded, goes missing after a terrific storm. Nobody has seen him or knows anything about the disappearance. Investigation is in his blood, so Brunetti lays aside the leisure bit and starts to investigate, as he and the caretaker had recently become friends. And with his usual precision, logic, and intellect, Brunetti begins to put together the entire picturewhich, of course, includes the requisite death, manipulations, and secrets, motives for yet another homicide. How the author is able to maintain this quality, this originality, and this pace is amazing, but she does, as she expertly creates characters and scenarios that are not only realistic, but believable. As usual, her addressing serious environmental issues for her beloved Venice is included, and, like Cassandra outside the gates of Troy, she continues to sound the alarm. And we hope she never stops. -Read Reviews-

With this novel, Donna Leon has made an extraordinary leap — from very fine detective fiction to that elusive thing known as literature. Beforethe body even enters the picture, we are gliding through the lagoon with Brunetti, in a state that Leon induces between exquisite timelessnessand intense self-consciousness. We don’t even need the body — except we do, because it is there that Leon’s (Brunetti’s) compassion andthe world’s ambiguities meet, again at an even higher level than before. Brava — what an accomplishment.

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