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Unto Us a Son Is Given

Written by: Donna Leon
Narrated by: David Colacci
Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"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 Rodriguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under arcane 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 his good friend Berta Dodson, 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.

©2019 Donna Leon (P)2019 Recorded Books

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AWFUL<br />

Summary of first 17 chapters: chapters 1 to 3- the count tells Brunetti that he suspects a con man is planning to fleece his old friend, chapters 4 through 17- the old friend dies. I have read many books by this author but I think she has shot her bolt. This is a totally nothing book. There is no story. I kept waiting for a corpse, any corpse! By chapter 18, I had had enough. Goodbye, Donna, nice knowing you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ima Reeder
  • 2019-04-01

Donna Leon and David Colacci do it again!

Once again, Leon has written a wonderful mystery in Venice. This time Commissario Brunetti must discover who killed the best friend of his father-in-law’s best friend. Leon does an excellent job of stitching together what can be heavy (and sometimes boring) stories of love, friendship, class, history and Venetian-style nepotism with a perfect murder mystery. And Guido reads about the women of Troy in his beloved classics. Oh, and his boss needs his help!! It makes for an interesting piece of embroidery!
Fans of the Commissario will not be disappointed. New listeners will jump on the Leon bandwagon, especially after they hear David Colacci perform. His perfect accents and emotional, yet not over-acted, narration kept me listening straight through.

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  • ALN
  • 2019-03-22

Another Reason to Revel in Donna Leon’s Creativity

A compelling exploration of human motivation and choices that provoke our own revelations. May there be many more.

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  • C
  • 2019-07-16

Great story but very abrupt ending

loved this story, really well done and interesting but abrupt ending. read it and see.

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  • Pogue
  • 2019-06-20

Not up to Donna Leon's standard

The story never really got interesting. I didn't care about any of the characters. As usual David Colacci did a good job with the narration..

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-13

Venice- a look into life in the ancient city.

I love all of Donna Leon’s books and I especially enjoy the audio preformed by David Colacci. I don’t know Italian so when it’s read to me I do not stress over the Italian words.

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  • squeegie
  • 2019-04-21

Back on track!

This latest novel is so much better than the previous one. As always, the narrator, David Baldacci, does a superb job.

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  • Charles
  • 2019-04-07

Leon is my favorite...but

No story here. I love the character development, the Vienna descriptions, the coffee shops Bruniti loves to patronize, but sadly, there was no story. I left it three times, only to return and finally finish it. Even the crime, when it finally occurred did not pass my bieliveablity threshold.

I hesitate to write more, and I guess this might be a spoiler alert...if a man, even in Italy, has been brilliant enough to achieve a large fortune, then surely he would be capable of leaving most of this fortune to his young gay lover, without leaving a dangling detail that leads to murder.

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  • Alexandra
  • 2019-04-05

one of Donna Leone's best to date

you can see how well Donna Leon's work has matured. great character development, and a really good twist the story. I really enjoy how she brings Venice to life with characters so real, u feel as if you live the culture with them

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  • Rena
  • 2019-04-05

Very slow

Many hours of Brunetti staring out the indies thinking about ancient Roman literature until about 90 minutes from the end when murder enters. Time for the author to retire?

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  • Karen McLellan
  • 2019-04-04

David Colacci is a Terrible narrator!

Putting aside the fact that this book, as more of hers are lately, is so padded -- nothing really happens until Chapter 19; it's a short story padded out to novel length -- the reader is almost intolerable! There is something so sad-sack and lackluster about his reading. Every sentence ends on a downturn. Yucch! I'll keep getting her books, but lord I wish she'd get a decent reader!