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 Venice to discover the person responsible. Now, in 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 behaviour 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 rumoured to be involved in more sinister night-time 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 organised.
Donna Leon's thirtieth Brunetti novel is as powerful as any she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits, forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.
Donna Leon is author of the much-loved, best-selling series of novels featuring Commissario Brunetti and one of The Times 50 Greatest Crime Writers. Widely considered one of the best detective series ever, with admirers including Ursula K. Le Guin and Antonia Fraser, the Brunetti Mysteries have won numerous awards around the world and been translated into thirty-five languages.
After teaching English in Saudi Arabia, Iran and China Donna Leon moved to Venice in 1981, having fallen in love with the city, its food, culture and people. A fluent Italian speaker, she lived there for thirty years before moving to Switzerland, though she still spends around a week each month in the City of Bridges - she has said about Venice, 'Where else in the world is everything you look at beautiful?'
Published when she was 49, the idea for Donna Leon's debut novel Death at La Fenice came about when she attended a rehearsal at Venice's Teatro La Fenice opera house. A friend muttered, 'I could kill the conductor', and the idea of the plot was born, along with the character of Guido Brunetti. Feverishly writing the manuscript in between shifts at her day job teaching military personnel at a nearby US Army barracks she left it in a desk for a year before being encouraged by a friend to submit it for the Suntory Mystery Fiction Grand Prize.
Awarded the Prize, along with a two-book publishing contract, Donna Leon has written a new Brunetti mystery every year since. Published in her eightieth year, Give Unto Others is the thirty-first.
'The series that has shadowed Brunetti for three decades is an epic achievement - in its own way quite the equal of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time.' - The Times
'Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon, the expatriate American with the Venetian heart. . . . One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.' - The Washington Post
'Leon started out with offhand, elegant excellence, and has simply kept it up.' - The Guardian