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Unto Us a Son is Given

de Donna Leon

Séries: Commissario Brunetti (28)

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3542455,178 (3.92)9
"Your situation is always ambiguous, isn't it, Guido?", his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, observes of Donna Leon's soulful detective, Guido Brunetti, at the beginning of her superb 28th Brunetti novel,Unto Us A Son Is Given. "The world we live in makes that necessary," Brunetti presciently replies. Count Falier was urging his Venetian son-in-law to investigate, and preferably intervene in, the seemingly innocent plan of the Count's best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws this man would then be heir to Gonzalo's entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo's friends find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man, a close family friend, can't be allowed his pleasure in peace. And yet, what seems innocent on the Venetian surface can cause tsunamis beneath. Gonzalo unexpectedly, and literally, drops dead on the street, and one of his friends just arrived in Venice for the memorial service, is strangled in her hotel room--having earlier sent Gonzalo an email saying "We are the only ones who know you cannot do this," referring to the adoption. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo's life that ultimately led to murder--a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction. Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly plumbs the twists and turns of the human condition, reuniting us with some of crime fiction's most memorable and enduring characters.… (mais)
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Inglês (22)  Espanhol (1)  Alemão (1)  Todos os idiomas (24)
Mostrando 1-5 de 24 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
A mystery that you don't think is a mystery that ends up being a mystery. This was Brunetti at its best. Things I loved about this book:
-Love vs lust and can we judge that in other people?
-Prejudice, conscious and unconscious-Griffoni for the double win!
-How our views change over time especially about people we know and love: look at Il Conte's conversation with Brunetti, Patta's conversation about the neighbor, and how these relationships and our perception of these characters have changed over time.
-That ending!


( )
  RachellErnst | Jan 5, 2021 |
In UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN, Brunetti’s father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, comes to his office with an unusual request: His oldest friend, Gonzalo Rodrigues de Tejada, now in his mid-eighties, wants to adopt a son, someone none of his friends has met. Brunetti’s father-in-law is very much opposed to the idea and wants to learn more about the person.
Gonzolo was also raised in a wealthy Spanish family but had a falling out with them decades ago, possibly because he is gay. He became wealthy on his own, first through raising cattle in Argentina and then through art in Italy. According to the law, when he dies, his possessions will go to his siblings. If he had a son, the son would inherit. People suspect that he is being taken advantage of by the young man because of his money.
Soon thereafter, Gonzalo traveled to Spain where he met with his sister. While they were out walking, he died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage. Orazio and his wife went to the funeral and another long-time English friend, originally from Chile, decided to have a memorial service in Venice for the people who couldn’t attend the funeral. Within a day, she was murdered.
As Brunetti gets busy working to find the murderer he discovers important secrets.
Commissario Guido Brunetti has been with the Venetian Police Department for a long time. He’s comfortable in his position and knows how to work with his colleagues (sometimes secretly) to accomplish what he has to do. He’s also married to a college professor whose parents are very wealthy. He has a wonderful relationship with all of them, as well as with his two children.
While Donna Leon’s series about him are very low in the violence and sex seen in many mystery novels, the books rank high in telling about the people and the community. It’s more like a small community with people knowing a lot about each other, willingly sharing gossip, and expressing their prejudices, including those regarding people who are not from Venice. The city is described lovingly but not unrealistically.
While less a murder mystery than most others of the genre, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN is well-written with realistic characters and conversations. It is not necessary to have read any of the other books in the series to appreciate and understand it. ( )
  Judiex | Aug 10, 2020 |
Synopsis: 'What does a father owe his son—and what do sons owe their fathers? Venice's most thoughtful detective, Commissario Guido Brunetti, has occasion to ponder these questions in several forms during his latest outing.The story begins with Brunetti's father-in-law, Conte Falier, asking him to look into something: There's gossip going around that the Conte's best friend, retired art dealer Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, is planning to adopt his lover, Attilio Circetti, a much younger man, since that would be the only way Italy's inheritance laws would allow him to pass his entire estate to Attilio when he dies. The Conte is much too discreet to say it in so many words, but he wants to make sure his friend isn't being scammed. Brunetti doesn't want to get involved, but he finds himself moved when his father-in-law regretfully says, "I've just asked someone I love to spy on someone else I love." You can almost hear the song "Do You Love Me?" from Fiddler on the Roof playing in the background as Brunetti ponders the sentiment he's never heard from the Conte before. How can he say no after that? A few days later, another request: Brunetti's boss, Vice-Questore Patta, has a story about how his wife was insulted by an 8-year-old boy who lives in their building. He wants Brunetti to find out if there's "something wrong with the boy," and if not, to look into the parents' backgrounds. If the boy does have "real problems," he says, he doesn't "want to cause them more trouble." Could Patta be more sensitive than he always seemed? Eventually, of course, there are deaths—one natural, one not.'
Review: Surprisingly, Brunetti's own son, Raffi, doesn't play a large role, though we're treated to the usual Brunetti family conversations over delicious home-cooked lunches. The story is dark, as usual, with Guido searching his soul about the vagaries of love of family. ( )
  DrLed | Jul 6, 2020 |
Ein guter Brunetti, der sich um die Folgen einer Erwachsenen-Adoption kümmert und dabei einem Geheimnis auf die Spur kommt. ( )
  likos77 | Jun 23, 2020 |
A wealthy, gay nobleman in Venice determines to subvert Italian Inheritance laws to win the love of a man half his age. Within weeks of adopting his lover as his son, Gonzalo dies of natural causes while visiting family in Spain. The fallout from the adoption, sudden death and inheritance leads to disillusionment and murder. ( )
  cfk | Feb 14, 2020 |
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"Your situation is always ambiguous, isn't it, Guido?", his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, observes of Donna Leon's soulful detective, Guido Brunetti, at the beginning of her superb 28th Brunetti novel,Unto Us A Son Is Given. "The world we live in makes that necessary," Brunetti presciently replies. Count Falier was urging his Venetian son-in-law to investigate, and preferably intervene in, the seemingly innocent plan of the Count's best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws this man would then be heir to Gonzalo's entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo's friends find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man, a close family friend, can't be allowed his pleasure in peace. And yet, what seems innocent on the Venetian surface can cause tsunamis beneath. Gonzalo unexpectedly, and literally, drops dead on the street, and one of his friends just arrived in Venice for the memorial service, is strangled in her hotel room--having earlier sent Gonzalo an email saying "We are the only ones who know you cannot do this," referring to the adoption. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo's life that ultimately led to murder--a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction. Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly plumbs the twists and turns of the human condition, reuniting us with some of crime fiction's most memorable and enduring characters.

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