Regular price: $18.17

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In Friends in High Places, Commissario Guido Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat investigating the lack of approval for the construction of Brunetti's apartment years before. What began as a red-tape headache ends in murder when the bureaucrat is later found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that will take him into the unfamiliar and dangerous areas of drug abuse and loan-sharking, and will reveal, once again, what a difference it makes in Venice to have friends in high places.

©2000 Donna Leon and Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 AudioGO, Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    94
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of her best...

Where does Friends in High Places rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Have always liked her stories of Comissario Brunetti and descriptions of one of my favorite cities, Venice. I think Donna Leon is perfecting her craft with each book, and Friends in High Places absolutely finds her at the top of her game. David Colacci is one of the best narrators working today. <br/>The story itself was fast moving, had enough characters to make it interesting but not confusing, and kept my interest throughout.<br/>Am looking forward to her next and next and next!! Keep them coming, Miss Leon!!<br/>

What did you like best about this story?

Nice pace...great characters throughout.

What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

100% wonderful! Best in the business.

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

Brunetti & Venice...totally Win/Win!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

ANOTHER GREAT COMMISSARIO BRUNETTI MYSTERY

I'm addicted to this series! (I almost stopped writing reviews because of 2 "Audible Haters" who have systematically gone through all of my submissions and marking them "Not Helpful" for no reason other than spite. But last week, I reported the harassment so the website reps are investigating to find out WHO the perpetrators are.)

Although this series can be a bit inconsistent, overall most of the novels are worth the rare miss. The characters are finely drawn and the added detail about Venice makes the listener feel as if we are really there. Narrator David Colacci is perfect. Not so much a thriller than a great detective mystery, the slower pace is worth the plot twists and turns which always keep you guessing.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pamela
  • Bigfork, Montana
  • 10-16-15

Corruption and the abuse of power in Venice

In what may be the quintessential Guido Brunetti novel, our hero faces unanswerable questions of right and wrong in both his personal and professional lives.

I will confess to being a die-hard Brunetti fan, but within the series not all books are created equal. This one will fall into my top three.

We see plenty of the Brunetti offspring and of two of my favorite female characters in contemporary fiction - Guido's aristocratic wife Paola and the power-behind-the-throne at the questura, Signorina Elettra.

Although Brunetti often despairs of the convoluted bureaucracy of Venice, here he becomes completely entangled within its strangling tendrils. Against his better judgement, he uses his connections and social debts to uncover the truth regarding the death a man he met in oddly upsetting circumstances. Along the way, he drags many others into the maelstrom he started.

David Colacci is Guido Brunetti to my ear. As always, he does a fine job with this book giving personality to my favorite Venetian Commissario.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 05-23-15

If this is series' best, I won't try any others

It starts with three chapters about Venice bureaucracy over building permits so I seriously considered giving up. But then the police procedural kicks in as a bureaucrat ends up dead. It’s a solid, very well-written, kind of high-brow mystery with a well-considered philosophical discussion about using friends to get out of legal trouble, for things small and big. This is supposed to be her best book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, winning a Silver Dagger award. But it just didn’t compel me enough so I don’t think I'll read more. And, frankly, the gender dynamics were sexist — example: Brunetti and his wife Paola both work full-time jobs but she does the cooking and cleaning, and he stands there watching while she does it. Bechdel test: Fail. Grade: B

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A taste of Venice

In Friends in High Places by Donna Leon, we go to the city of Venice with Commissario Guido Brunetti. One Saturday morning Guido gets a visit from Franco Rossi, an official who is investigating Brunetti’s apartment, which the man indicates might have to be torn down because there is no record of the existence of any approved plans for this top floor apartment. That seems to be the end of any contact with Rossi when the young man calls Brunetti at his work because he has found corruption in his government office. Concerned that any telefonino (cell phone) could easily be bugged, Brunetti tells Rossi to call him back from a public telephone, and that is the last that he hears from Rossi. A couple days later, Brunetti sees an article in the paper that Rossi has fallen from a building in the course of his work and is in a coma, something that greatly disturbs Brunetti because Rossi was terrified of heights and should never have been so high in the first place. When Brunetti gets to the hospital to investigate, he finds Rossi dead and the hospital treatment questionable at best, but likely a result of malpractice.

The book takes a turn as Brunetti gets pulled into several cases related to drugs. He faces a really sad case when a building superintendent reports to the police the discovery of a 20-year-old student who has overdosed on heroin. He has only been discovered due to complaints about the bad odor, which becomes almost unbearable inside the room with the body. Heartbreakingly, the young man got clean earlier, causing the previously standard dosage to become too strong for him. The body sits with an expression on his face showing recognition of his having made an error, and the needle still remains in his arm. The grief of the young man’s parents inspires Brunetti to look into the drug problem in Venice, which fortunately the major dealers consider not lucrative enough to invest any effort in. This also crosses into a sideline investigation into exorbitant money lenders.

While the book focuses overtly on the theme of drug abuse, the subtext is the issue of class and how people of all classes can get into drugs and other crime. Being rich does not exempt a family from facing drug or criminal problems, neither does being poor. In addition, no one should be exempt from the law, not due to wealth or position.

This book does an excellent job of making Brunetti’s life and trails of investigation become truly real to life. We become part of his family and grieve with him as he mourns the waste of young lives with drugs. We also feel the love Brunetti experiences for his family and enjoy seeing the back and forth between him and his wife, Paola.

And speaking of Paola, I appreciate the illustration of a strong, intelligent, and independent woman who is still capable of being a good mother and wife. She shows that being a professor does not prohibit her from being an effective family woman, instead rearing two capable children with strong values.

David Colacci provides a strong performance in his reading of this book. He has a great accent and voice for this role, sounding legitimately Italian to my American ears. He does a good job of interpreting Leon’s work that transports us to the city of Venice.

Leon does a powerful job of introducing us not only to strong mysteries but also vividly takes us to the city where she has lived for multiple decades. With frequent smatterings of Italian, especially police positions, and descriptions of food in Venice, her books contain a whole lot of flavor. Friends in High Places also takes us to Venice, but not as vividly as most other books by Leon have read. Further, the mystery was interesting, but not as compelling as the other books either. I give this book 3 stars.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic!

Loved it! Enjoyed it thoroughly...looking forward to the next book in the series ... Bravo!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • . Hager
  • CHESTERFIELD, MO, US
  • 05-23-15

Another burnetti masterpiece

Clever execution of a good story.
I love Donna Leon's story telling.
A terrific listen- captivating till the last three minutes.