Davide was quietly in the background, doing simple tasks for the local dry-cleaners in the San Polo area of Venice. Deaf and mildly mentally challenged, he was a sweet boy. No one knew his name; they just called him the boy who doesn’t talk. He was hardly noticed by the neighborhood until he was found dead in his bed, an apparent suicide. At the request of his wife, Paola, Commissario Gudo Brunetti, took notice. Paola was a bit ashamed that she had not known his name, had not known his family. Brunetti found to his surprise that officially Davide didn’t exist. There was absolutely nothing in the records. No birth certificate or baptismal record. No record of his address. No identity card, medical card, school records. Nothing. This of course aroused Brunetti’s curiosity and he began to seriously investigate the matter.
Donna Leone, has written more than 20 Brunetti mysteries. Born in New Jersey, she has been a resident of Venice for over thirty years and captures the atmosphere of the city perfectly. The food, the sounds, the people and their mannerisms fill every scene in wonderful detail. This is my first reading of a Donna Leone mystery and it certainly won’t be the last. I loved every minute of this intelligent story.
NetGalley review Publication date 4.2.13
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