Uniform Justice by Donna Leon: 5*****

Book 12 of the series may be one of my favorites. There’s not a lot of action, but rather a lot of contemplation and discussion about the political and military classes in Venice and Italy. The book centers around the death of a 17-year-old boy in a Military Academy in Venice. Everyone is sure it was a suicide, but there was no suicide note, and, the boy had given no external indication of being unhappy or dismayed leading up to his death. Inspector Brunetti is on the case and something just does not seem right to him, so he keeps looking into possible external reasons for the boys death.

Brunetti ponders the fate of Venice, Italian politics, the military, and these military academies, that aremtraining of young people, to think and act the same way as their forefathers. All the students in this Academy are children of either rich politicians or military leaders so they continue to create a class of individuals who feel they are above and beyond regular citizens as well as the law. as the book goes on, we find out that the young man’s parents are separated, that his mother had been shot in the leg two years previously, that his sister is nowhere to be found, and that things just don’t quite add up. His father had been a crusading politician and nobody wants that in Italy because no one wants to stop the corruption or the graft that keeps the country running. As I said one of my favorite books, and like most all of Donna Lyons works nothing ever is tied up with a neat ribbon at the end of the book. Was it suicide, was it murder, is there justice, and is there just more of the same that is beginning to drag, and wear upon Brunetti? A wonderful book!

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