A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti #7) by Donna Leon: 5*****

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She’s back! Yes, Donna Leon is back in top form in her 7th novel in the Commissario Brunetti series. This time Brunetti s pulled into a case he had nothing to do with when it occurred, two years prior to the books timeline. A body is found in Belluno well over 100 km from Venice. Testing shows it to be the body of a young man who was kidnapped from the family villa (also not in Brunetti’s jurisdiction). This turns out to be the body of the only son of a wealthy and noble Venetian family and Brunetti is assigned to the case. So many dead ends in this plot, and so few people who fit the profile of the kidnappers. How did the body end up in the field of an abandoned farm with a bullet in the back of his head? And what makes this book work for me is that the supporting characters are back and in fine form. More and more we see secretary Signorina Elettra becoming a valued part of the team due to her contacts and computer skills. Detective Sergeant Vianello is right by Brunetti’s side throughout and then we have his boss, Vice-Questore Patta who is more concerned with his own publicity and not ruffling the feathers of the rich and powerful in Venice. A few new faces also show up, along with Brunetti’s family making a strong appearance in the show.
As with all things in Venice, no matter how talented Brunetti is, the rich and powerful always manage to dodge their rightful punishment, but here I must admit that I felt the ending did mete out justice, maybe not exactly as we may wish, but nonetheless a fitting ending of a sad case! 

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