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Death and Judgment

A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
Narrated by: David Colacci
Series: Guido Brunetti, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (382 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A truck crashes and spills its dangerous cargo on a treacherous road in the Italian Dolomite mountains. Meanwhile, in Santa Lucia, a prominent international lawyer is found dead aboard an intercity train.

Suspecting a connection between the two tragedies, Commissario Guido Brunetti digs deep for an answer, stumbling 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 begin to understand what is really going on.

Death in Venice: investigate more of Guido Brunetti's cases.
©1995 Donna Leon (P)2009 BBC Audio

Critic Reviews

"Leon isn't well known is this country, but she should be. She's a superbly gifted writer whose stories are complex and filled with charm, humor, and intelligence." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • Fremont, CA, USA
  • 01-29-10

Escape to Northern Italy if you dare...

Love the narration of this book, you can see the streets of Venice and Padua as the story is read. The book itself was well done, I was immersed in the story from the start. There is murder, human trafficking and stolen innocence. Step into the pages of Northern Italy for a short while.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Darker than Usual for Leon

I never regret purchasing a Brunetti novel, and always find them interesting and well worth the time. In this case, the issues are exceptionally painful and seamy, so I enjoyed this one a little less than the others, but it was still well worth the read. As usual, the characters are individual and enjoyable, as are the interactions.

As always, the sense of place is enjoyable without the mess that some authors make by trying to turn it into a travelogue. The atmosphere of Venice is distinctly with us but always in a natural way that blends with the plot progression.

AUDIO: David Colacci consistently does a good job. I sometimes wish he'd go slightly lighter on the accents, but on the whole he's excellent. He understands the ongoing characters very well and gives a true rendering of their conversations.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Venetian setting & mystery Superb!

Would you consider the audio edition of Death and Judgment to be better than the print version?

Leon's books are well written & enjoyable but with the audio book one gets the sound of Italian words & intonation in the bargain.

What did you like best about this story?

The setting in Venice & environs is intriguing. The juxtaposition of Commissario Brunetti's professional & private lives. The crimes of rape, murder, human trafficking are bad enough to need the balance of family life.

Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Even though Colacci has an American accent it is not distracting. He portrays the different characters convincingly & pronounces the Italian believably. I have enjoyed Colacci's other narrations, he is a professional.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Venetian police mystery!

Any additional comments?

Leon captures the flavor of Italian life well for an American audience. The book did not have the feel of a translation. I don't think it needn't to be translated, as Donna Leon has lived abroad & especially in Italy for a number of years. I do enjoy translations for the local color they impart. With Leon's books she interprets that local color for the reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Best at 1.25 speed

So many great reviews for the Guido Brunetti series, and I was having trouble staying/being interested....then I added a little speed to the narration (1.25) and found that really made a difference. I really enjoyed Death and Judgment at the increased speed!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ilana
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 05-27-12

Had to remind myself this was only fiction

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 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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

So slow..............

This book is agonizingly slow to read. The story is good but overall it is loaded with minutiae unnecessarily.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Guido Does It Again

The case is solved, but I found that this reader (listener) must keep guessing as the puzzle is not easily solved. I have read so many of Donna Leon's books, and never get tired of the lifestyle in Venice that is described. I enjoyed the case very much!l

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love this series

I love this series but such a strangely naive path for this seasoned detective resulting in a weird ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

startling but sadly true

well written and compassionate. will read more by this author. hats to think thus is all too real

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mch21211
  • Washington/Baltimore Metro
  • 11-29-18

Best of the First 4 Brunetti Mysteries

Suggest reading this series in order because each book further develops the main/central/ongoing characters and sometimes refers to events in previous novels, which adds to the enjoyment of those wanting to read the series.