One rainy morning Commissario Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello respond to an emergency call reporting a body floating near some steps on the Grand Canal. Reaching down to pull it out, Brunetti's wrist is caught by the silkiness of golden hair, and he sees a small foot - together he and Vianello lift a dead girl from the water.
But, inconceivably, no one has reported a missing child, nor the theft of the gold jewellery that she carries. Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death but also for her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children - be they innocent or guilty.
From the canals and palazzi of Venice to a gypsy encampment on the mainland, Brunetti struggles with institutional prejudice and entrenched criminality to try to unravel the fate of the dead child.
"In The Girl of His Dreams, Donna Leon is writing at her fluent best"
"Written in a powerful, economical style...Leon's 17th novel is one of her darkest and most reflective"
"Another intriguing episode in this fine series"
"The Girl of his Dreams is an artful examination of family ties as well as a clear-eyed survey of the pros and cons of political correctness"
"The seventeenth title in an excellent, unflagging series...The Girl of His Dreams marks an evolution, even a quiet revolution, in Leon's storytelling"