I have read (in print) and admired all of the preceding Commissario Brunetti titles and this is my first disappointment, partly because the novel is atypically slow-starting and slow in general, but mostly because of the oddly stilted narration. David Colacci apparently decided that because the story takes place in Venice and the characters are Italian he would need to give them a phony and forced Italo-American accent. This is unsuccessful and distracting in the extreme. If Mr. Colacci read Tolstoi in translation would he provide an American's notion of a Russian accent? Should Madame Bovary, narrated in English, speak with a pseudo-French accent? It does not work and frankly spoils the book.
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