This story seems to have been snatched from recent headlines; it is about women who have plastic surgery; Italian political corruption and what to do with trash when all of Europe's landfills are full. Of course, readers are also allowed a glimpse into the home life of a Venetian family (Guido Brunetti).
There's a lot going on in this book; political corruption seems to be a constant in Italian life. With that in the background, the other two themes play out their stories. Commissario Guido Brunetti and his wife are invited to a dinner at his parents-in-law's home. Brunetti is seated across from a very interesting woman with a scarred face. Everyone who sees her think it is plastic surgery gone bad' -- most also think she is too young to have gone under the knife (she's in her mid-thirties).
The woman's much older husband asks Brunetti's father-in-law to go into partnership with him. Then, Brunetti's father-in-law asks him to casually look into this prospective business partner's background.
Solutions for handling trash (regular, medical, nuclear, etc.) are a growing problem in Italy. I learned a great deal about what countries are doing now and it is not a pretty picture. Although the potential business partner says he is in the transportation business, Brunetti soon learns that he is transporting trash to third world countries.
I found this to be a believable and fascinating -- story. This is the 18th story and I don't recommend someone start with this one. Leon's style is interesting; she doesn't explain any of the back stories of secondary characters. But her regular readers know about them as they have been introduced.
1. Death at La Fenice (1992)
2. Death in a Strange Country (1993)
3. The Anonymous Venetian (1994) aka Dressed for Death
4. A Venetian Reckoning (1995) aka Death and Judgment
5. Acqua Alta (1996) aka Death in High Water
6. The Death of Faith (1997) aka Quietly in Their Sleep
7. A Noble Radiance (1997)
8. Fatal Remedies (1998)
9. Friends in High Places (1999) Dagger Awards Best Novel nominee (2000): Friends in High Places
10. A Sea of Troubles (2001)
11. Willful Behaviour (2002)
12. Uniform Justice (2003)
13. Doctored Evidence (2004)
14. Blood from a Stone (2005)
15. Through a Glass Darkly (2006)
16. Suffer the Little Children (2007)
17. The Girl of His Dreams (2008)
18. About Face (2009)