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Saturday 14 April 2018

‘The Temptation of Forgiveness’ by Donna Leon

Published US/CA by Atlantic Monthly Press,
20 March 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2775-4 (HB)

Where there are government programs, there is always room for fraud.  And Italy is no exception.  Commissario Guido Brunetti discovers a clever scheme while investigating an apparent assault case involving the husband of a colleague of his wife, who had previously visited him because she suspected drugs were being sold in her son’s school.

One thing led to another.  Brunetti found the drug dealer, who also was operating a clever scheme to distribute drugs to the kids.  And when the aforementioned husband was found comatose at the foot of a bridge and taken to the hospital, Brunetti at first suspected the assault was the result of a confrontation with the drug dealer.

Donna Leon has written almost three dozen novels in this series, combining vivid descriptions of Venice, Brunetti’s appetite, and a wide variety of social ills.  In this installment, she combines the taking advantage of elderly people and of government programs such as medicine and drug insurance, exposing both while Brunetti goes about in his calm manner conducting his investigation.

Reviewer: Theodore Feit

Donna Leon was born in Montclair, New Jersey of Irish/Spanish descent. She first went to Italy as a student in 1965 returning regularly over the next decade while pursuing a career as an academic in the States and then later in Iran, (where she taught English to helicopter pilots for three years), China (teaching literature at a university near Shanghai) and finally Saudi Arabia.  Donna then decided to move to Venice permanently, where she has now lived for more than twenty five years.  Her novels are all set in Venice, featuring police Commissario Guido Brunette and are widely praised, amongst other things, for her ability to create a remarkable sense of place, and to conjure up the sights and smells of Venice.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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