book cover of Blood from a Stone
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Blood from a Stone

(2005)
(Book 14 in the Commissario Brunetti Mystery series)
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The latest of Donna Leon's novels about principled Venetian cop Brunetti, Blood from a Stone is one of her timeliest. Two mysterious white men carry out a professional hit on one of the Somali traders who illegally hawk counterfeit luggage in a local square, and for some reason, Brunetti's superiors are remarkably keen that the case be left unsolved. Is this mere casual institutional racism, or something even more sinister? Brunetti, like many other fictional policemen, has no particular gift for obedience to unreasonable orders, and has also a left-wing academic wife to prod his already active conscience. Donna Leon is not usually as political as she is here; this is one of her more biting thrillers in its indictment of international trade and the security state.

Brunetti has rarely been this melancholy--this is a thriller set in the dead of a Venice winter, and the cold, wet winds eat into our bones as we read. ---Roz Kaveney

Genre: Mystery

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