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Excerpt: 'A Sea of Troubles' (2001)

'A Sea of Troubles'

As for himself, Brunetti believed he was not particularly strong-willed and knew he often manipulated situations so that he could avoid having to make the decision to do something he didn't want to do.

Two years ago, When Paola had finally nagged him into having a complete physical exam, he had told the doctor not to bother with the tests for cholesterol and diabetes, leaving it to the doctor to infer that the tests were not necessary because he'd recently had them done. In truth, Brunetti had not wanted to know the results because he had not wanted to have to do whatever he would have to do if the results were bad. Whenever he thought of his deceit and the possible consequences to his family, he told himself he had never felt healthier in his life and to stop worrying about it.

And three years ago, when an Albanian suspect had been arrested for having beaten two eleven-year-old prostitutes who helped to support him, Brunetti had done nothing to prevent his being assigned for questioning to a detective who had a daughter the same age and another whose fifteen-year-old daughter had been assaulted by another Albanian. Nor had he ever enquired as to just what happened during the examination, though the suspected had quickly confessed to the crimes.

Before he could examine his conscience further, he reached the restaurant and went in.

Excerpted from A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon.

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Donna Leon