The Golden Egg
by Donna Leon
I am a huge fan of Donna Leon and this is her 22nd novel – I’ve read them all. What do I love? They are aqll set in Venice. Need I say more? I have watched Commissario Brunetti over the years and have come to know his family, his colleagues and his city. As a reader you walk through Venice with him, you enjoy the food that he enjoys – it’s wonderful.
The books – Donna Leon writes a lot about corruption in the police force and government, but this is not a driving force for the novels. Plots are complex and characters well fleshed out.
This latest novel is slightly different for her. This time there is not a crime to solve, Brunetti is on a personal quest. He becomes interested in the death of the mentally-ill deaf-mute who worked at the dry-cleaners that he frequented, his curiosity piqued when he discovers that this man does not exist. There are no records for him anywhere in the system – he is invisible.
The socio-political themes of previous novels take a back seat here and Brunetti discovers what life is like for the impoverished in society. This is a story of families.
I love Venice, I love these books. Maybe this was not one of her more gripping novels, but I do recommend trying a Donna Leon novel – especially if you want to lose yourself in the winding streets and canals of the most beautiful city in the world.