fredag den 5. juni 2009

Donna Leon, Mord i fremmed land (1999)

Denne krimi er den anden i den amerikanske forfatters serie om kriminalkommissær Brunetti fra Venedig.

”Liget lå og flød med ansigtet nedad i kanalens snavsede vand. Tidevandet vuggede det blidt hen imod det åbne vand i lagunen for enden af kanalen. Hovedet bumpede et par gange mod de algedækkede trin foran Basilica SS. Giovanni e Paolo, sad et øjeblik fast, men da vandet fik fødderne til at svinge i en smuk balletagtig bue, rev det sig løs og drev videre ud mod det åbne vand og friheden.”

Kriminalkommissær Guido Brunetti bliver sat på sagen om den unge mand, som bliver fundet myrdet i kanalen. ”Dæk hans ansigt. Han døde ung” siger kommissæren, og røber hermed, at hans kone i hvert fald kender sine klassikere. Politiet overvejer motiverne bag mordet, er der tale om røveri, handel med stoffer eller terror.

Offeret viser sig at være en ung, amerikansk soldat, udstationeret på den store militærstation i Venedig, som udgør et lille stykke Amerika, og tilsyneladende følger sine egne love og regler. På overfladen virker amerikanerne åbne og samarbejdsvillige, men det er måske ikke alt, de fortæller, og ret hurtigt får Brunetti besked på ikke at forstyrre amerikanerne igen. En ordre, han selvfølgelig ikke følger helt.

Den sympatiske Brunetti er lykkeligt gift med Paola, en intelligent kvinde, som er i stand til at underholde sig selv, og ikke har skjulte dagsordener, og kommissæren har i det hele taget en sund, naturlig appetit på livet.

Forfriskende bekendtskab med en kriminalkommissær, jeg bestemt gerne vil møde igen.

Death in a Strange Country (1993)
This novel is the second in the American writer´s series about Commissioner Brunetti from Venice.

“The body floated face down in the murky water of the canal. Gently, the ebbing tide tugged it along towards the open waters of the laguna that spread out beyond the end of the canal. The head bumped a few times against the moss-covered steps of the embankment in front of the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, lodged there for a moment, then shifted free as the feet swung out in a delicate balletic arc that pulled it loose and set it again drifting towards the open waters and freedom.”

It is up to Commissioner Guido Brunetti to solve the case of the young man who is found murdered in the canal. “Cover his face. He died young” Brunetti says and reveals that at least his wife knows her classics. The police consider the motive behind the murder; is it a mugging, drug-related crime or terror?

The victim is a young, American soldier, stationed at the large army base in Venice, a small scale America, with its own laws and rules. On the surface the Americans seem open and eager to cooperate, but there may be things they forget to tell the Italian police, and quite soon Brunetti´s superiors instructed him not to disturb the Americans again. An order he does not quite follow.

The pleasant Commissioner Brunetti is happily married to Paola, an intelligent woman who is capable of keeping herself amused and has no hidden agendas, and on the whole this couple have a sound and healthy appetite on life.

A refreshing acquaintance with a protagonist I would like to meet again.

11 kommentarer:

Beth F sagde ...

This is a series I've been interested in. I'll have to see if my library has the first one. I like your description of Brunetti's marriage.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth, I think you´d enjoy it. It is not a graphic or disturbing thriller, but a quiet, entertaining police procedural. And I also liked hearing about a happy couple for once - not happy because the wife is a doormat, but because she has a life of her own and accepts his preoccupation with his cases.

bookwitch sagde ...

Do Danes wish each other Happy National Day? The Norwegians do that very forcibly.

Happy 5th June!

Dorte H sagde ...

Ann; we certainly appreciate it when someone wishes us a happy day, national or not. Thank you very much :)

We have not done much to celebrate this year, but sometimes we have held open-air meetings in the garden of our vicarage.

Kerrie sagde ...

AS you know Dorte, Donna Leon is an author I very much like, and Brunetti an old friend.
I'm glad you liked this one. I think I have read most, but probably not all of the series, and at times feel like going back to the beginning

seanag sagde ...

Dorte, not only recently got on the Donna Leon bandwagon myself, but was just convincing one of my friends to do so too today.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kerrie; and now I know why you like them :)

Seanag; that is the fine thing about blogging and sharing one´s impressions of books and authors. After some time you know whose taste you share, and it becomes much easier to choose new authors.

R. T. sagde ...

I recall suggesting that you read Donna Leon's books, and I'm pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your encounter with Commissario Brunetti. His many adventures in Venice (and elsewhere) and his intriguing family make for wonderfully entertaining reading. Each time I read about Brunetti, I wish I were able to visit Venice and follow in his footsteps--just for the sheer fun of it all. By the way, Toni Sepeda has a new book out (BRUNETTI'S VENICE) in which readers are treated to "travel tips" for touring Brunetti's lovely city,

Dorte H sagde ...

R.T.; I will!
I have not found them in our library until recently, but now I have tried one, I may try to find the rest of them in order.
And Brunetti´s Venice might be a good idea before a holiday in Venice.

Randi sagde ...

Hei Dorte,
elsker Donna Leons bøker fra Venedig, men kan aldri huske hvilke jeg har lest. Din omtale av "Death in a strange country" forteller meg at den har jeg ikke fått med meg.
Går omgående inn på amazon.com. Har mange av bøkene om Brunetti, pocket på engelsk, hvis du etterlyser noen titler, sender jeg dem gjerne,
bor på Langeland.

Dorte H sagde ...

Hej Randi.
Hyggeligt at møde dig. Og du er vist ikke født på Langeland? ;)

Jeg vil gerne læse flere af Brunetti-bøgerne, og i næste omgang prøver jeg nok at finde de første i serien.

Venlige hilsener fra Thy.