Thursday 6 October 2011

Quietly in Their Sleep by Donna Leon

Donna Leon is an author new to me.  I was looking for something light and easy to read and it was coincidental that the book was set in Italy, in Venice. It couldn't be more different from A Thousand Days in Venice, apart from the setting of course, but even that took on a different view.

I was dismayed at first to read so many negative reviews on Amazon (UK) but that turned out to be because it has been republished with a new title, the US title.  Previously it was called "The Death of Faith".  People were understandably annoyed that they had bought what they thought was a new book only to discover they had already read it.

I enjoyed the book.  It is one of a number of books in the series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. The characters of Brunetti himself, his colleagues, and of his family were appealing to me.  It is quite a relief to read about a policeman who isn't an alcoholic or has a failing marriage, or any other major problem in his life.

There are a couple of big issues brought into the plot, one of which, paedophile priests, may have been the reason for the re-issue now that it's even more consistently in the news.  The other issue concerns Opus Dei and the power of the Roman Catholic Church.  Both I feel to be rather too deep for this book and sit uncomfortably in an otherwise lighter book.  They aren't really examined or addressed to any extent and I felt that they didn't quite mesh together or with the rest of the plot.

You are constantly aware of the setting in Venice with a strong sense of the city and of Venetian society.

Quietly in Their Sleep is available from or
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