When a man is found stabbed to death floating in the canal, Commissario Brunetti is convinced he recognises him from somewhere. But with no identification on the body and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, it seems as if he has appeared from nowhere, and the case is at a dead end.
It doesn't take long for Brunetti to realise why he remembers the dead man - he saw him at a demonstration a couple of years ago, where farmers were protesting about European milk quotas. But what was his involvement with the protest? And could it have anything to do with his murder?
Having nothing to go on but the distinctive shoes the man was wearing and a disease that had left his body strangely deformed, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello set out to try and discover the man's identity.
Their investigation eventually takes them to a slaughterhouse at Preganziol, on the mainland. It is there that Brunetti discovers the dead man's connection with the slaughterhouse and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it. With a gripping case set before a harrowing exploration of the meat industry, Donna Leon's latest novel is a dark and compelling addition to the Brunetti series.
"the book is written with that depth of thought about crime and humanity that characterizes the best of Leon’s work." (Jane Jakeman, Independent)
"[Leon’s] books paint such an appealing portrait of modern Venetian life that they’ve sent droves of holidaymakers to the city." (Press Association)
"Beastly Things is a perfect accompaniment to a hot day and a cool glass of white wine. Superb." (Crimesquad.com)
“The superb reader, Andrew Sachs, has become the voice of Brunetti: intelligent, thoughtful, weary and worldly wise. When the policeman relaxes at night, we can almost taste the cold Pinot Grigio that he sips on his balcony, and when he pays a visit to the sickening, stinking, blood-boltered horrors of the slaughterhouse, we are led right down into the seventh circle of Dante's Hell.”(Sue Gaisford, The Independent on Sunday)
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