About the Author
Date of Birth:February 28, 1942
Place of Birth:Montclair, New Jersey
Education:B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature
Read an Excerpt
When they were seated, Patta began: “I’d like to speak to you frankly, Commissario.” Brunetti ignored the chance this remark gave him to ask how Patta had spoken to him in the past and, instead, nodded and put on a pleasant, interested expression. At least Patta had wasted no time with preliminaries.
“It’s about leaks,” Patta said.
“Leaks?” Brunetti asked, resisting the urge to look at the ceiling.
“From the Questura,” Patta continued.
Ah, that kind of leaks, Brunetti told himself and wondered what Patta had in mind. Nothing embarrassing had appeared in either Il Gazzettino or La Nuova di Venezia for some time, so Brunetti was without advance warning about what information might be leaking from the Questura.
“These leaks, sir: could you tell me more about them?”
“I wanted to speak to you, Brunetti, because you know people here,” Patta said, reminding Brunetti that this was still the old Patta, for whom any information about the inner workings of the Questura was to be treated as part of the Delphic Mysteries.
Brunetti waved a hand in the air, either to dismiss those hidden truths Patta believed he knew or perhaps to summon them from the vasty deep.
“They talk to you,” Patta insinuated. Hearing Patta’s suspicion relaxed Brunetti and told him that, though the subject might be new, the old, adversarial order had been restored. He tossed away his momentary warming towards Patta and returned to his native good sense.
“What is it you think they’ve been talking about Vice-Questore?”
Patta cleared his throat with a small noise. “I’ve heard rumors that some people are displeased with Lieutenant Scarpa,” Patta said, struggling, it seemed, to keep indignation from his voice. Then, more calmly, as though he considered it of lesser importance, he added, “It also seems that someone has been talking about a person brought in for questioning.”