In The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th instalment in the best-selling Brunetti series, our commissario finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a crime at all.
Brunetti is investigating a cold case by request of the Grand Contessa Lando-Continui, a friend of Brunetti's mother-in-law. Fifteen years ago the Contessa's teenage granddaughter, Manuela, was found drowning in a canal. She was rescued from the canal at the last moment, but in many ways it was too late; she suffered severe brain damage, and her life was never the same again. Once a passionate horse rider, Manuela, now aged 30, cannot remember the accident or her beloved horse and lives trapped in an eternal youth.
The Contessa, unconvinced that this was an accident, implores Brunetti to find the culprit she believes was responsible for ruining Manuela's life. Out of a mixture of curiosity, pity and a willingness to fulfil the wishes of a loving grandmother, Brunetti reopens the case. But once he starts to investigate, he finds a murky past and a dark story at its heart.
The Waters of Eternal Youth is awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation to housing to new waves of African migrants, all circling the haunting story of a woman trapped in a perpetual childhood.
©2016 Donna Leon (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks