Death and Judgment (Guido Brunetti Series #4)

Death and Judgment (Guido Brunetti Series #4)

by Donna Leon


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In Death and Judgment, the fourth novel in Donna Leon's best selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series, a truck crashes and spills its dangerous cargo on a treacherous road in the Italian Dolomite Mountains. Meanwhile, a prominent international lawyer is found dead aboard an intercity train bound for Venice. Brunetti suspects a connection between the two tragedies. Digging deep for an answer, he stumbles upon a seedy Venetian bar that holds the key to a crime network that reaches far beyond the laguna. But it will take another violent death in Venice before Brunetti and his colleagues can get to the bottom of what is behind the horrific events.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802122186
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Series: Guido Brunetti Series , #4
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 99,875
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.


Venice, Italy

Date of Birth:

February 28, 1942

Place of Birth:

Montclair, New Jersey


B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Another captivating mystery featuring "the most humane sleuth since Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti ... proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities. (The Wall Street Journal)

No one is more graceful and accomplished than Leon. (The Washington Post)

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Death and Judgment (Guido Brunetti Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
darwindog96 More than 1 year ago
jackiepenny More than 1 year ago
I've been trying to read Donna Leon's Brunetti novels in chronilogical order. With each novel the plots get better, the characterizations get deeper and richer, and it's set in a Venice trying to preserve its past. Yet the novels are so politically current with its main characters concerns with such issues as water and air pollution, white slavery and the people from the south.
PastorKim More than 1 year ago
This is probably the same book as Death nnd Judgment, but in UK published under a different title. Similar problem with series #3.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Not as good as the last oneS.
SofiaAndersson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The same formula as the other books about commissario Brunetti. But it works. Nice reading for a day by the sea (Port Alcudia, Mallorca in my case)
Talbin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Death and Judgement is Donna Leon's fourth book in the Commissario Brunetti series. When a prominent Venetian lawyer is found dead on a train, murdered execution-style, Guido Brunetti is assigned to the case. At first there are no leads, but Brunetti's daughter, Chiara, knows the murdered man's daughter and discovers a bit about the family - including that the parents always warned her to be careful so that she wasn't kidnapped. This immediately leads Brunetti into thinking that perhaps the Mafia is involved. Then a second man, an accountant, is found dead of what looks like a suicide but turns out to be a murder. The two murdered men are connected, however tenuously, by calling the same seedy bar in a town outside of Venice. When the lawyer's brother-in-law is found murdered - he a prominent lawyer - Brunetti knows that he is dealing with something that could touch even the highest levels of Venetian society.Death and Judgement is a dark book, and certainly the most cynical of the series thus far. In Leon's Venice, corruption runs rampant and the "best" citizens are often involved in the worst crimes. At one point in the book, Brunetti's wife, Paola, asks Guido why he is still with the police. I believe Brunetti's answer is something to effect that "someone has to do it," but this reader wonders how crushingly difficult it would be to know that power and money will protect even the worst criminals. At the same time, though, this is an excellent book. Eventually, the motives become clear and the crimes are solved, but the guilty parties do not pay the price for their crimes. The morally ambiguous ending seems right for our times.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Death and Judgment is the fourth book in the Commissario Brunetti series. Commissario Guido Brunetti is assigned to the case when a well-known Venetian lawyer is found murdered on a train. Chiara, Brunetti's daughter, attended school with the murdered man's daughter and informs her father that the parents had warned Francesca to be careful so that she wasn't kidnapped making Brunetti think that the Mafia may have made a hit. When the murdered man's business partner is found dead, the connection is made to a sleazy bar outside of Venice. When the lawyer's brother-in-law, his accountant, is found murdered as well, Brunetti realizes that the connections must go far deeper. and may impact greater on Venetian culture.In this book, Leon reveals the corruption surrounding the members of high Venetian Society and how money paid to the right people will produce just about anything. The storyline was, at times, very depressing and, in areas, frightening but the solution, though somewhat expected, was not unsatisfying. The actual ending leads the reader with the idea that Brunetti feels that though he solved the murder, he was not successful. There were several bright spots in the book, where Guido is interact with his wife and daughter and these give the reader a feeling of normalcy in a frightening world.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read 8 of the 19 (not in order) of this incredible detective series set in Venice. Everytime I read one, I want to jump on a plane and then get in a gondola and take Venice by storm. Leon really fleshes out Comissario Guido Brunetti in this one. The story is as much about his struggle to enlighten his 14 yr old daughter about the subtle but substantial difference between something that is a crime, and something that is wrong, but given the fuzziness of the Italian criminal system, not necessarily a crime. In this episode he is dealing with murder, a prostitution ring, and several other unsavory aspects of this way of life to which his daughter has been unnecessarily and brutally exposed.It is once again, well plotted, deeply respectful of the characters (even the criminals) and still has enough comic relief in several of the characters to keep the dark parts from becoming unbearable. If you haven't yet discovered Donna Leon.....Get thee to the library.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truck meets with a terrible accident in the snowy Dolomites, and spilling out of it's bowels among the cargo of wood are also strange mannequins... but the mannequins are bleeding, which must mean they are real women. The horror of this accident is only a small presage of more to come. Commissario Guido Brunetti is put on the case of the murder of a prominent lawyer, shot dead on an intercity train. Then an accountant and business associate of the lawyer also turns up dead, and Brunetti starts suspecting the connection might be an international prostitution ring. His 14-year-old daughter Chiara offers her help as an apprentice investigator; she's been to school with the murdered lawyer's daughter and may be able to unearth some clues. But no one is prepared for the extent of the horror she uncovers in the process, least of all Chiara herself, and Brunetti can't forgive himself for unwittingly exposing his beloved daughter to such monstrous crimes. I¿ve read several novels in the series before and knew that Leon tends to combine an insider's view of Venice and the comforts of the inspector's home life with the vilest of crimes and conspiracies, but the nature of one of the crimes committed against women in this particular instance were so evil that I was quite shocked. But in the end, Brunetti is a man with a conscience and in comforting his daughter, he also comforts his reader; heinous crimes won't go away, but love and kindness are also here to stay. Recommended, but this ones necessitates a solid stomach.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Death and JudgementDonna Leon4th in the Commisario Brunetti series set in Venice, Italy.A prominent lawyer is murdered, executio-style, on the train coming home to Venice from Padova. In the midst of the ever-growing corruption scandals in the Italian government, a very successful accountant from Padova, connectedted with teh Ministry of Health, appears to have committed suicide; everyone assumes that this is in connection with the scandals involving the Ministry but the Padova police have evidence that it was really murder. Finally the lawyer¿s brother-in-law is murdered. though Brunetti is convinced that all three deaths are related, but the only connection he has is a phone number of a sleazy bar in Mestre, a town just outside of Venice on the mainland.Leon has described this book as her angriest, and it is easy to see why. She nearly always illuminates some social injustice or ugly facet of Italian or Venetian life in her books, and this one involves the world-wide trade in women for the purposes of prostitution. to go further would be to give away the plot; in itself, it¿s a very good police procedural, but leon uses the story to bring out truly horrifying facts about the extent of this slave trade. Yet, she is so skillful a writer that it never sounds preachy, but unfolds from Brunetti¿s investigation.As is typical of Leon¿s books, her characterizations are the best part, especially true in this book of the one-timers. Brunetti and his family--especially his 14 year old daughter Chiara in this book--continue to deepen and therefore continue to engage the reader¿s interest in this very real (and very Italian) family. Leon¿s love for Venice, always shining out through Brunetti, is obvious, no matter how grim the political or social picture is; the city enchants.Another excellent member of the series. Highly recommended.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another wry and cynical pas d'armes between Commissario Brunetti and the corruption of Italian society. Once again, what starts off looking like a simple crime gradually extends tendrils into the world of the powerful and wealthy of Italy, the individuals who not only view themselves as above the law but, to a certain extent, are above it.Brunetti gave another small smile, "...we need...a list of Signor Trevisan's clients...""I want you to bear in mind that these are not the sort of people who are usually subject to a police investigation."Under ordinary circumstances, Brunetti would have remarked that, except for the last few years, the police had been investigating little except "people like these,"...Brunetti must work against the criminals, his sycophantic superior and corrupt fellow officers to try to unravel the mystery of a series of murders. In the end, he succeeds in understanding what happened and curtailing some portion of the larger problem. However, unlike the previous three books, this one does not provide a neat and satisfying ending; Leon's disenchantment with the crumbling world of her detective is felt much more strongly in this volume. Don't take this as a negative; I think the atmosphere of this story is deeper for it and I'm looking forward to reading the fifth volume.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't as enthralled with this story as I had been with previous stories in the series - there was no single character that really grabbed my attention. Perhaps the resolution left me feeling cynical and queasy. However, the charms of the setting and of Brunetti and his family, make it an enjoyable read.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of the death of several prominent people, and the pressure to close the case with an acceptable finding. Then another case starts the story of the casual (truck accident) and deliberate killings (snuff film) of women smuggled in for sex work, and then held as slaves. As always there is a wonderful sense of Venice, modern Italians, and their fight with the corrupt bureaucracy of the state. The characters are like old friends, Guido, his family and co-workers. The writing is good, and the ending, much like real life isn't neatly wrapped up.
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