Brunetti's subordinates glean information by feigning a connection with the person. Brunetti couldn't help feeling that his department is nurturing vipers. When you work with people there is a need to have a connection with them, some kind of empathy to get the information essential to solve a case. I couldn't help wondering why this empathy should be fake, couldn't it be natural? Leon brings in adeptly that it takes two to tango.
The story game the Brunetti family plays in the beginning is clever and fun. Leon makes an interesting observation about how the dialects separate the people instead of the language bringing them together. I also like the other observations Donna Leon makes. Like the receptionists in the hospital, who wouldn't let you in, without checking your identification, even if it is urgent. Even if he probably knows who you are. Well, as Brunetti remembers his wife's words, this is the only way that person feels powerful, just go along with him. Donna Leon cleverly brings in the theme of her novel throughout without giving away the final shock. Yes, what came in the end came as a shock to me, something we read and see in News and wonder, how did this happen, why didn't anybody do anything about it, kind of shocking news.