Doctored Evidence

Donna Leon

Random House 2004
A book review by Danny Yee © 2010
When an obnoxious old Venetian woman is brutally murdered, the case seems to have been resolved when her Romanian maid runs from police at the border and ends up under a train. Then, however, a neighbour returns from holidays with a story that complicates this, and police inspector Brunetti unofficially takes up the investigation.

The plot of Doctored Evidence is fairly straightforward and not overly dramatic, with a background story that is plausible and sordid rather than outrageous and newsworthy, but it has enough to hold the reader.

A good deal of the interest comes from the Venetian setting, from the background of corruption and bureaucracy, and from the internal struggles in the police force. Brunetti's colleagues include a sidekick with a knack for computers and illegally obtaining banking records, a lazy boss, and a hostile rival. And the domestic scenes with his wife and children revolve around food, with some musings on sin and religion.

Some of this seems a little formulaic — and Doctored Evidence is one of over a dozen novels about Inspector Brunetti. It's also easy entertainment, however, and would make perfect reading for a train or plane to Venice.

April 2010

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%T Doctored Evidence
%A Leon, Donna
%I Random House
%D 2004
%O hardcover
%G ISBN 0434010669
%P 245pp