Suffer the Little Children

Suffer the Little Children

Book - 2007
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Commissario Brunnetti is asked to solve the kidnapping of an eighteen-month-old boy and the assault on the baby's father, who is a prominent pediatrician. Brunnetti's investigations uncover a wicked scam.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2007
Edition: 1st American ed. --
ISBN: 9780871139603
087113960X
Branch Call Number: FIC Leon 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 264 p

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DAN F HAMMANG
Aug 28, 2018

A big draw for this series is the city of Venice. Commisario Brunetti's love for the city is beautifully evoked. Another is Donna Leon's deft use of contemporary social issues as raw material for her plots. The available material is a deep vein to mine. The third is her skillful portrayal of the interior life of her characters.

That interior life is primarily through the eyes of Brunetti but shows up in other characters as well. We see the deep love and compassion that can spring from the human heart as well as the breathtaking cruelty, greed and hatred that can manifest from it. There is a long and storied history of novels that spend so much time in the interior life of their protagonists running all the way back to Henry James, the favorite of Brunetti's beloved, Paola.

There are a myriad of other richly developed characters as well, Signorina Electra, Inspectore Vianello, Vice-Questore Patta, Sergeant Scarpa. And that is before the sometimes startling stream of consciousness of the villains that inhabit her novels. She steers clear of the temptation of dwelling too long in the internal landscape that many authors of this genre fall into. Much of hers is within the mind of the speaker as the dialogue unfolds or in Brunetti's musings as he reads the ancient masters. Leon wields her sharp knife and her deep sense of irony in this engaging device.

Don't look for a seamless plot or a neatly tied procedural. But if you enjoy a gifted writer's nuanced insights into the interior life that drives us all written in a storied locale, then you might want to give this series a try. It's one of my favorites.

j
jeffreyochsner
Apr 08, 2017

This book shows how people who think they are behaving morally can destroy other people's lives. I could not stop reading because I had to know what happened, but this is not a happy book. There were plot twists I did not anticipate.

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DorisWaggoner
Jan 04, 2016

Parts of this addition to the series are as good as any. Brunetti's agonizing over the meaning of fatherhood, for instance, and the scenes in his family, are one of the reasons this series is so good. Two of her books came out this year, which may explain the editorial slip that mixed up two characters' names in a crucial scene and for a minute confuse the reader and pull us away from the tension of the scene. The investigation Vianelli's doing, on pharmacy scams, comes together with Brunetti's, in a surprise ending.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

In the sixteenth of this addictive series set in Venice, Commissario Guido Brunetti seems in a more reflective and philosophical mood as he attempts to come to terms with the Carabinieri's brutal removal of an eighteen-month-old boy from his loving pediatrician father and his well-connected wife. As Brunetti muses on the bonds of parenthood and exposes an illegal adoption process, his colleague unravels the details of a scam which opens the door to blackmail and a father's violent revenge.

2
2011angie
Jul 26, 2012

Not one of her best. Mix up in names - editor ? - and s l o w, too much details.

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