Impressions. For fans of Donna Leon, the 18th Commissario Guido Brunetti novel titled About Face, provides a welcome return to Venice and to a familiar cast of characters. First-time readers can also find a well-told crime story packed with rich character development, fine dialogue and descriptive language that places readers clearly in each setting. One face to which the title refers is Franca Marinello, the beautiful second wife of Maurizio Cataldo. Her face was damaged from surgery that most conclude was done for cosmetic reasons. Brunetti met them at a dinner party at the home of his in-laws, the Conte and Contessa Falier. Brunetti’s interest in Franca became lively when she revealed to him that she reads Cicero. The Conte asks Guido to investigate Cataldo because they may do a business deal together. This unusual request provides some development in the complicated relationship between Brunetti and his father-in-law. Much of the action in the novel centers on crimes relating to the dumping of industrial waste. Throughout, About Face is entertaining, intelligent and a joy to read.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)