Drawing Conclusions is the 20th in the Brunetti series. Though I enjoyed the book, it seemed that it was not really up to the generally high standard of the series. The characters seemed a bit wooden, like puppets rather than fully formed characters. It is as if the author is getting tired of her characters and simply going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong: if this book were written by another author I would rate it highly and recommend it. But it’s just not up to Donna Leon’s standards.
One thing that bothered me was a change in the relationship between Brunetti and signorina Elettra. It is as if all the previous books had not been written; as though Brunetti has suddenly forgotten all the computer forensics investigations (a.k.a. hacking) that Elettra has done at his request, with his reluctant approval.
And Brunetti’s family life was given very short attention. Neither of his children were present long enough for a reader to get any sense of their character. And his wife, Paola, has changed: she seems to have become a bit reactionary. I mean, she has been passionate about politics in the past, but it has always been in the cause of justice and compassion. Now she seems to have moved to the right.
I hope there are a few more books to come in this series. This one wasn’t bad, but it wouldn’t be one I would recommend to someone who hasn’t read Donna Leon previously.