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Publisher's Summary

In the 27th novel in Donna Leon's best-selling mystery series, a suspicious accident leads Commissario Guido Brunetti to uncover a longstanding scam with disturbing unintended consequences

Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised more consequentially by the appearance of a friend of his wife's, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene.

When Tullio Gasparini, the woman's husband, is found unconscious and with a serious brain injury at the foot of a Venice bridge at midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy's behavior. But the truth, as Brunetti has experienced so often, is rarely straightforward. An examination of Gasparini's home office reveals a number of strange coupons in his elderly aunt's name from a local drugstore, which over time reveal a long-running scam.

As the 27th novel unfolds in Donna Leon's exquisite chronicle of Venetian life in all its blissful and sordid aspects, Brunetti is ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario Claudia Griffoni and by the endless resourcefulness and craftiness of Signorina Elettra, Patta's secretary and gatekeeper, and reminded of the ever-lasting virtues of his own family.

His intellectual pursuits lead him to study Sophocles' play Antigone, so revealing of the unintended consequences that can erupt from bad decisions - and tempt him to consider at least personal forgiveness for a crime from the heart gone bad.

©2018 Donna Leon (P)2018 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Narrator David Colacci once again does a fine job portraying the erudite Commissario; his fellow officers at the Questura; Paola, his intelligent wife; and his teenage offspring. Colacci's deliberate pace matches the slowly evolving investigation of a man who was pushed or fell from a bridge, leaving him comatose.... [Listeners] will enjoy how Colacci's Italian accents make you believe you're listening to conversations in Italian." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Temptation of Forgiveness

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

Slower Than Earlier Books But Still Brunetti

This was the 27th book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series and he continues to be intriguing, engaging, likable, and usually very much on target. In this story, he is not as much on target as in past books and the story seems to meander around while he tries to figure out how an accountant wound up under a bridge with a concussion a week after his wife came in asking if the police could do something about drug dealer at her son’s school. Coincidence? He investigates but finds no drug dealers. He decides to look into the background of the victim to see if his past could be the cause of the fall/push off the bridge. The story involves more interaction with Brunetti and Electra and even Patto, his boss. The story shows the side of Venice that only those who live there see. The corruption of the health care system is exposed and the difficulty of dealing with the state. You walk around the city in Brunetti’s shoes and listen to conversations between Guido and Paula and his kids. The story moves at a slower pace that earlier ones but you are still swept up into the world of policing in Venice. The rhythm of the city and the interaction between the main characters all demonstrate a slower life style. It is not as intriguing to me as past stories but it is essential to the continuity of what makes Brunetti the most engaging detective since Poirot. I chose to listen to the audible version read by David Colacci and enjoyed it very much. He has become the voice of Brunetti.

2 people found this helpful

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Ever More Nuanced

Brunetti continues to explore human behavior with increasingly complex and nuanced consideration of himself, his colleagues, and the people related to the crimes he is investigating. His reflections on his judgments, decisions, and actions provide encouragement and sometimes a template for us to apply to ourselves.

1 person found this helpful

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One of her best

A wonderful insight into Venetian life and a primer describing Italy’s law enforcement and social services. Fully rounded characters and all written w love and dispassionate dissection of weakness and greed. A melancholy book but very entertaining and engrossing

1 person found this helpful

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The Temptation of Forgiveness

I love this book! I totally binged it, another book great for a long drive (or just driving in general). It's well written and I found it very interesting.

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Meh

Plotting has never been Leon's long suit. Her observations about Italian life and Venice are enjoyable if, having listened to this series from the beginning, predictable. They are the main reason I continue with Brunetti and company. This plot is very unsatisfying. It starts with a victim suffering a depressed skull fracture and subdural hematoma. I am sure in today's Italy he would have been treated appropriately with neurosurgical intervention, but no: here he is forced to lie in an indefinite coma. This is important to the plot. Next, the scam perpetrated by the "villain(s)" is implausible and far fetched. Lastly, the concluding resolution seems forced and unsatisfying.
Had this been the first Brunetti mystery to which I listened, I doubt that I would have opted for a second. As it is, I hope for better things from Leon's remaining Brunetti offerings.

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A rather disappointing book

This book had promise but got distracted between the leak and tangents of the crime but dropped the original issue brought to the investigator at the start. I can’t recommend this book.

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Leon is lovely

Wonderful view of crime and life in Venice through the eyes of Commisario Guido Brunetti

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Not the best, but interesting....

I didn't think we had enough clues to solve it....too many read herrings and a late introduction to the perp....but it was still an enjoyable trip to Venice. I think Paola is coming off a little snarky, superior and critical in the past few books. I liked her better when she was smart, intuitive and ....less the know-it-all wife.

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ok

ending was anti climactic. "What? That is it?
Not up to usual Donna Leone standards

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  • AC
  • 05-17-19

Very boring

This must be among the most boring crime novels I have ever read. Definitely the most boring from Donna Leon. Nothing much happens, it’s a filled with uninteresting family chit chat, stirring coffee, long silences before questions are answered.