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Publisher's Summary

When a body is found floating in a canal, strangely disfigured and with multiple stab wounds, Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate and is convinced he recognises the man from somewhere. However, with no identification except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress.

Brunetti soon realises why he remembers the dead man, and asks Signorina Elettra if she can help him find footage of a farmers' protest the previous autumn. But what was his involvement with the protest, and what does it have to do with his murder?

Acting on the fragile lead, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello set out to uncover the man's identity. Their investigation eventually takes them to a slaughterhouse on the mainland, where they discover the origin of the crime and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it.

Both a gripping case and a harrowing exploration of the dark side of Italy's meat industry, Donna Leon's latest novel is a compelling addition to the Brunetti series.

©2012 Donna Leon (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

Critic Reviews

"the book is written with that depth of thought about crime and humanity that characterizes the best of Leon’s work." (Jane Jakeman, Independent)
"Beastly Things is a perfect accompaniment to a hot day and a cool glass of white wine. Superb." (Crimesquad.com)
"[Leon’s] books paint such an appealing portrait of modern Venetian life that they’ve sent droves of holidaymakers to the city." (Press Association)

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  • Overall
  • Julia
  • 05-09-12

New narrator please!

Not one of Donna Leon's best, but would be an ok listen if it weren't for the dreadful quality of the narration. The reader has no sensitivity to the text, no understanding of the nuances, and succeeds only in spoiling the experience. very disappointing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-30-12

Awful Accent

Narrator very irritating. Cant imagine Guido talking to his staff in broken English with an American accent. Thought the last narrator was much better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • B Gumbrell
  • 04-30-12

Slow, slow, slow

Well written and good character development but the slow development of a thin plot and an even slower narration by David Colacci practically sent me to sleep. If you need to know the details of every mouthful of food eaten by the characters, you'll like this but it felt like padding to me. Not Leon at her best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martin
  • 09-08-12

Donna Leon Beastly Things - read by David Colacci

There is not comparison with the great reader Andrew Sachs! How can Donna Leon admit to read her text in a "badly made" Italian accent! It would be more genuin to read in American without pretending to fake "Italianita"! A reader should at least learn to spell the Italian Terms correctly - starting with the name of Brunetti!
We're most disappointed!
Annemarie & Martin Luchsinger

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Oscar
  • 03-18-17

Leave David Colacci alone!!

Where does Beastly Things rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love Donna Leon's 'Brunetti' books and this is one of the best. I think people are far too dismissive of David Colacci's narration. I know he sounds like a Mexican bandit some of the time, but I really like his interpretation -slow and laconic, perhaps a bit lazy -and quite frankly, rather 'Italian'. There is a sensitivity he imbues into his characters that all but Andrew Sachs fail to achieve in reading Donna Leon. He does male and female characters equally well and when I read the Brunetti books, it is Colacci's voice I hear -and for me that adds another layer of enjoyment.<br/><br/>(As an aside, why didn't Andrew Sachs read unabridged Donna Leon's? I'd buy them all!) <br/><br/>I found this book (and its narration!) moving, amusing and engaging in turn and thoroughly recommend it. Open your mind and give Colacci a chance!