Alibi

Alibi

by Joseph Kanon
3.2 15

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Alibi 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Muggsy More than 1 year ago
The Alibi, by Joseph Karon, is a morality play set in an historical mystery. The setting is Venice one year after World War II has ended. Like a Michael Dibdin mystery, Venice is corrupt, but with a working purpose. Tourists must be attracted back to a beautiful and safe city which is putting out the message they didn't really get involved in the war enough to worry about ex-nazis and fascists lurking around. Unfortunately, the main character, an ex-GI war criminal research analyst, doesn't get the message, and looks for collaborators around every corner. He settles on one who is engaged to his widowed mother, happily renting a very nice house in Venice, and the plot spins on from there. Murder is done, and Karon sets up the plot as a question of whether or not the killing is justifiable since it involves someone suspected of collaborating with the nazis. The reader is left juggling a combination of beautiful and historic Venice with the question of whether or not good people should be caught and punished for killng a suspected collaborator. Other innocents get caught up in the plot, some pay a terrible price while completely innocent, and everyone seems to know what is going on, but nobody wants to get at the truth. The tension is fierce. I could not put this book down and finished it about 3 o'clock in the morning. A great read to say the least, and Karon's best book by far.
A retired history teacher
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kanon brings Venice to life. I could nearly smell the canals, and hear the water lapping against the sides of the buildings. He is sensitive to the little subtlties in the relationships between people, and his characters are well drawn. But it takes him forever to say what he has to say. At one point I checked the number of pages in the book, thinking that a sharper editor would have tightened it up to half its length. This book would make a good movie, cast with lots of beautiful people, one of those European spy things where the viewer isn't quite sure what is happening, but is happy going along for the ride. 'Gondola ride, in this case'. This is a book that promises much and leaves the reader disappointed by the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the Alibi, I was dissapointed with the overall structure of the story and subsequent developments. I felt many parts of the book that focused on the human aspect were predictable and not realistic. As for the setting of the book, I think Kanon did a good job of describing post war Venice and many of the attitudes and feelings that lay just under the surface. Overall I felt that this particular story did not complement the writer's obvious skill when comparing with past books such as the Prodigal Spy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a weak follow-up to Kanon's 'The Good German.' Whereas the earlier book is filled with depth and narratives of significance, 'Alibi' is an overwrought pot-boiler with cliches instead of moral dilemnas and an unrealistic, far-fetched plot. Try again, Joe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Protagonist Adam Miller, a former U.S. investigator of war crimes, opens his story by saying 'After the war, my mother took a house in Venice.' That she did and, to a great degree, was able to carry on as if World War II had never interrupted her life. She resurrects her relationship with Dr. Maglione, and joins the whirl of wealthy expatriates who seem to believe it has always been carnival time in Venice. Miller comes to Venice to visit his mother, hoping to forget the atrocities that have become so familiar to him. For a while, it seems that Venice has remained untouched by war. It's as beautiful and mysterious as ever. He does suspect that Dr. Maglione is more attracted to his mother's checkbook than to her, but there is more to come. Often alone, Miller meets Claudia, a Jewish woman who has been deeply scarred by the war, not physically but psychologically. They fall in love. All is well until she meets the good doctor and accuses him of having collaborated with the Nazis. When a murder occurs Miller is forced to examine what he really believes is right and wrong, who is telling the truth and who is being deceptive. Venice is a particularly appealing backdrop for this part mystery, part love story, and all intriguing novel. Holter Graham provides a splendidly controlled, always articulate voice performance of this arresting portrait of postwar Venice. - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
By 1946 still horrified by what he has seen, former U.S. Army war crimes investigator Adam Miller travels to Venice to see his widowed mother Grace. To his surprise the city is like a beautiful oasis in war ravaged Europe unscathed by the horrors that Adam has seen especially in Germany. --- Adam meets Italian Jew Claudia Grassini at a party. They fall in love and begin an affair. However, Claudia spent time in the Fossoli concentration camp, leaving her feeling guilty that she lived while so many others died. While Adam courts Claudia, Grace is seeing a pre war lover aristocratic Dr. Gianni Mangion. Adam does not trust Gianni sensing something sinister perhaps involving the Fascist years. He begins investigating his mother¿s lover and soon murders occur ultimately leading to the good soldier Adam choosing between justice and the law with either selection further devastating his already weakened inner soul. --- ALIBI is a terrific historical tale that uses war crimes, a murder mystery, and a romance to tell the tale of Post WWII Venice. The story line is fast-paced and action packed never slowing down for a moment. However what makes this thriller so chilling and thrilling is the deep cast. Adam, Grace, Claudia, and Gianni, supported by the grand city and residents trying to heal, are fully developed characters that bring home the era. The audience receives a fantastic novel that showcases Joseph Kanon¿s skills.--- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author describes vivid pictures of the setting - Venice after WW II. He proceeds to paint descriptions of characters through dialogue. The murder takes place. That's it. However there are still 200 pages left!
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AtoZNY More than 1 year ago
This about sums up my feelings about Alibi---who cares! The characters are cardboard and this reader felt no connection with any of it. If you want to read about Venice, just pick up any of Donna Leon's Brunetti series---at least there, you care about what happens to the people involved in the story.