Author: Donna Leon
Series: Commissario Brunetti #30
Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Mar. 9, 2021
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8/10
In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joy riding in the Laguna with two young Italians. However, Brunetti’s curiosity is aroused by the behavior of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital. If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it?
As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. To get to the bottom of what proves to be a gut-wrenching case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Costiera. Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are technologically brilliant and ruthlessly organized.
Donna Leon’s Transient Desires is as powerful as any novel she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits and forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.
Atmospheric, sinister, and engaging!
In this intriguing thirtieth instalment in the Commissario Brunetti series, Transient Desires, Leon has written a menacing tale that sees quirky Commissario Guido Brunetti immersed in an investigation that seems on the surface to involve two American women who have been beaten, abandoned, and left unconscious on the hospital docks, but which quickly turns into a much darker case involving human trafficking that will require the assistance of both the Carabinieri and Guardia Costiera to apprehend all those involved.
The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are steadfast, intuitive, and a little jaded. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel seamlessly into an entertaining tale of dangerous endeavours, criminal behaviour, deduction, lies, exploitation, and Venetian Life.
Overall, Transient Desires is not especially fast-paced or action-packed but is still another absorbing, multi-layered, solid addition to this much-loved, highly-successful, enjoyable series.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.