Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon (2004)
I have bought this book years ago and it stayed on my bookshelf gathering dust. Since I resolved to read more frequently this year, I grabbed this book and read.
It is about a murder of an old woman living alone in Venice. Her only son died five years ago and since then she lived with housemaids who couldn’t stand her attitude. So we have a grumpy, old woman who was hated by everyone and died with five blows on the back of the head.
Police easily pointed their fingers to the last housemaid, a Romanian who have been an illegal alien in Italy. However, during the manhunt, the Romanian jumped off the train to her death. With the corruption as a way of life in Venice, everyone seems to accept that fact.
However, a good neighbor who just returned from London learned of what happened. She went to the police immediately and told her story, clearing the foreigner of the crime.
The officer who was in charge of the case doesn’t want to accept the story, thinking that it would cause some stir about how they do things. However, Commissario Guido Brunetti, a good and incorruptible detective listened to her story.
The detective was intrigued of the case and he worked on its investigation unofficially. Even their chief warned him not to pursue the case anymore. But Brunetti saw something was not right and he, together with his secretary and inspector, looked for other clues that would solve the murder.
The novel depicts the city of Venice — the place, the food, and the corruption in government. And despite the negative effect of corruption, one man still upholds the good.
The book was an interesting read as you focus your attention to the victim’s son’s past. I ended up suspecting the victim committing blackmail which I got it right but I was wrong as to whom it was directed to. Overall, I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 stars.