A Sea of Troubles
Donna LeonNarrator: David Colacci
Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery book 108 hours 7 minutes
Narrator Review: David Colacci
I loved listening to David Colacci narrate Donna Leon's, Guido Brunetti series, his voice is so deep and sonorous, and is slightly tinged with an accent, Venetian? Italian? He gives emphasis to words as he's reading that are rather musical or, well I don't know what, but it gives such an interesting touch to his narration, making for a much more interesting listen.
That is when he is reading text, just wait till he starts getting into character dialog. Amazing, sounds so authentic, as Brunetti he brings out the slightly laid back personality and casual introspective way of solving a crime. Colacci does not sound laid back or slow at all, it's just the way he personifies Brunetti, that you can grasp the personality of this amusing and intelligent policeman.
He does Paola, Brunetti's wife in a nearly female voice. The contrast between Brunetti and Paola is just enough to tell which one is speaking, using a very different intonation for Paola, creating an atmosphere of simpatico between them. Vocalizations for the various fishermen and policeman, could not be more perfect.
Author Donna Leon
In A Sea of Troubles, the wee hours of the morning brings a tremendous explosion, that rouses a small fishing village on the Island of Pellestrina, the fire is intense and spreading fast. Men, women and children, leap from their beds to discover the cause of the disturbance. Villagers in mass, throw open doors and begin running towards the harbor in a variety of dress and undress, men frantically jump in their own boats to back them away from the onslaught of flames.
When the excitement settles down and boats are rescued, two villagers are missing. Slowly, the crowd disperses and they return to their own cottages, it is not till the next day that anyone calls the police to report Julio and his son, Marco as missing. Stranger still is, it's not a villager, but the insurance agent, of a fisherman, who calls the police. Confusion within police departments, brings an ill equipped department, who were not informed that the bodies were at the bottom of the sea.
Sergeant Vianello is on hand when divers search the sunken boat. Vianello, he immediately can see that Julio and Marco were murdered when they bring up the bodies. He also knows the people in the village are a very close knit community and closed mouth, especially with outsiders. He calls his boss, Commissario Brunetti, to ask how to proceed. Brunetti, tells him to try and keep it quiet that it's murder and not an accident, and he'll be there as quick as he can.
Brunetti and Vianello find their investigations have reaped them very few clues. They see, they need someone with a connection to the village, to solve this murder. The lovely, intelligent, and well connected, Signorina Elettra, offers to go to Pellestrina and snoop around for them. It's a tempting idea, yet, there are fears for her safety, and this concerns the police.
She is more sure of herself and not too concerned, as she spends a weeks vacation on the island and visits her relatives, once a year. She goes to Pellestrina, disregarding Brunetti's misgivings. He reluctantly has to allow it, as the villagers, on questioning, only will answer direct questions and, with as few words as possible. When Brunetti tells his wife, Paola, what Signorina Elettra, is going to do, Paola, is angry and goes ballistic on him for allowing a woman to do this. Brunetti does place a young policeman, on the island to keep an eye on her, for safety. She mingles with the villagers and keeps her eyes and ears open, to any mention of Julio or Marco.
When a woman is pulled up in a fishing net, Brunetti, has a heart stopping moment, fearful that Elettra, met with foul play. He hastens to the island to investigate, and feels guiltless relief when he see's it is not Elettra. It's a constant battle of wits against the fishing village, when no one will reveal the reason Marco's father was despised by everyone. Brunetti and Vianello, persist in chipping away at the residents until all the clues fall in place.
Peppered throughout all of Leon's books are tons of unnecessary phrases, qualifiers and debris. As in, "he, pushed open the door, and held it for Brunetti. Then pulled it closed behind them" After entering and opening the door, we can assume it closed behind them, the wind pushed it closed or we don't care if he closed the door. The sentence would only be adding to the scene if it slammed on his foot, or closed so fast it broke his finger, or something, but to just add, he shut the door is superfluous.
If not for the amazing narration by David Colacci , I can only say that it would be quite boring to read so much detail as the opening and closing of the door or about the table in the restaurant. From "a small vase of wildflowers, stood to left of the bottles of olive oil and vinegar" then we get further detail about the wicker basket holding the bread sticks, in two languages. An entire chapter is predominantly devoted to going to this restaurant, what it looks, like, all in excruciating detail. Would have been a much better book if it had been edited. Colacci does take the edge off and manages to get through these dull details. His vocalizations of the local people is beyond outstanding.