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Uniform justice
Donna Leon
Adult Fiction LEON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mystery fans who have not yet discovered Leon's elegant Venetian puzzles starring the canny but scrupulously honest police commissario Guido Brunetti are in for a special treat. An American who has lived in Venice for more than 20 years, Leon offers intimate, behind-the-scenes portraits of an ancient city that few tourists ever see while presenting intricate, intelligent mysteries that address facets of contemporary Italian life: the opera (Death at La Fenice), the Church (The Death of Faith), and now the military. When Brunetti is called to investigate the hanging death of a young cadet at an exclusive military academy, he meets a wall of silence from the authorities, who just want to see the case closed quickly as a "suicide." Already contemptuous of a corrupt system that he sees as no different from the Mafia except "that some wore easily recognized uniforms while the other leaned toward Armani and Brioni," Brunetti turns to the boy's grieving but uncooperative parents for help. Could the father's resignation as one of the few honest politicians from the Italian parliament have something to do with the boy's death? Brunetti doggedly pursues the case even though he realizes that in the end justice is not always dispensed uniformly. But isn't that like life? Currently, Leon's other marvelous titles are only available in expensive British paperbacks, but one hopes that Atlantic Monthly and Penguin, which is issuing a mass-market edition of A Noble Radiance, will continue to reintroduce this wonderful writer to American readers. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/03.]-Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Guido Brunetti
Paola's husband; investigating the presumed suicide of a young cadet found hanged.
Police commissioner

Paola Brunetti
Guido's wife; professor of English literature.

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