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Having survived an explosive assassination attempt, Italian police detective Aurelio Zen finds himself convalescing at a Tuscan seaside resort town, where he is under orders to lie low until he is to testify at a much-anticipated Mafia trial. The quiet- and the boredom- are relieved by the pleasant distraction of the beautiful Gemma, but just when he feels he is getting somewhere with her, a the discovery of corpse in his usual lounge chair brings his holiday to an abrupt end. Convinced that the Mafia has finally located him, the police put Zen on the move again, in startling directions. And Then You Die, Michael Dibdin's latest installment in the Aurelio Zen series, is a wicked, twisting tale that pits Zen against invisible assassins and the possibility of forced retirement. As the plot unfolds, and Zen ponders his uncertain future, bodies are stacking up around him. And Then You Die is another exceptionally surprising, consistently funny triumph from a master of the genre.
When the corpse of the shady industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed with a Parmesan knife, Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen is called to Bologna to oversee the investigation. Recovering slowly from surgery, and fleeing an equally painful crisis in his personal life, Zen is only too happy to take on what at first appears to be a routine and relatively undemanding assignment. But soon a world-famous university professor is shot with the same gun, immediately after publicly humiliating Italy's leading celebrity television chef, and the case-intertwined with the fates of an earnest student of semiotics and a mysterious young immigrant who claims to be from Ruritania-spins out of control, and Zen is in no condition to rise to the challenge. There's also a wild card in the pack, Tony Speranza, Bologna's most flamboyant private detective. Back to Bologna is dazzlingly plotted, features a cast of vivid and idiosyncratic characters, and along the way delivers both comic and serious insights into the realities of today's Italy.
Aurelio Zen--cynical and tough, yet worn down from years of law enforcement--has just been given the worst assignment he could imagine. He has been sent to the heart of hostile territory: Sicily, the ancient, beautiful island where blood has been known to flow like wine, and the distinction between the police and the criminals is a fine one. Even worse, he has been sent to spy on the elite anti-Mafia squad.The only thing that makes the job palatable--and takes his mind off routine details like the rotting body found in a remote train car--is that Zen's adopted daughter, Carla, is also in town. But life becomes precarious for Carla when she stumbles upon some information she'd be better off not knowing and befriends a local magistrate on the Mafia's most wanted list. What ensues is a breakneck plot of amazing complexity that culminates in a stunning finale. Blood Rain, emotionally gripping and defiantly original, is surely one of Dibdin's finest works.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tough, philosophical, and world-weary detective Aurelio Zen returns in Michael Dibdin's latest foray into the maze of Italian criminal and political entanglements. This time Zen finds himself with an assignment he'd rather have avoided. After years of, shall we say, flirting with the enemy, he finds himself in the heart of hostile territory: Sicily, the ancient, beautiful island where blood has been known to flow like wine, if not water, and the distinction between the police and the criminals is a fine one. And when Zen's adopted daughter, Carla, comes across some information that certain people wish to remain secret and develops a friendship with a magistrate on the Mafia's most wanted list, the plot develops into one of Dibdin's most enthralling inventions.
In Cabal, master crime writer Michael Dibdin plunges us into a murky world of church spies, secret societies, cover-ups, and mistaken identities. An apparent suicide in the Vatican may in fact have been a muder conducted by a centuries-old cabal within The Knights of Columbus. A discovery among the medieval manuscripts of the Vatican Library leads to a second death, Zen travels to Milan, where he faces a final, dramatic showdown. Meanwhile, Zen's lover, the tantalizing Tania, is conducting her own covert operations--which could well jeopardize everything Zen has worked for. Richly textured, wickedly entertaining, Cabal taps the mysterious beauty of Italy in a thriller that challenges our beliefs about love, allegiance, history, and power--and the lengths to which we will go to protect them against the truth.
Michael Dibdin's overburdened Italian police inspector has been transferred to Naples, where the rule of law is so lax that a police station may double as a brothel. But this time, having alienated superiors with his impolitic zealousness in every previous posting, Zen is determined not to make waves.Too bad an American sailor (who may be neither American nor a sailor) knifes one of his opposite numbers in Naples's harbor, and some local garbage collectors have taken to moonlighting in homicide. And when Zen becomes embroiled in a romantic intrigue involving love-sick gangsters and prostitutes who pass themselves off as Albanian refugees, all Naples comes to resemble the set of the Mozart opera of the same title. Bawdy, suspenseful, and splendidly farcical, the result is an irresistible offering from a maestro of mystery.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this majestically unnerving novel, Michael Dibdin, the creator of the acclaimed Aurelio Zen mysteries, explores themes that might have been ripped out of today's headlines, as he charts America's dual epidemic of religious cultism and random violence. The murders take place in distant cities and with no apparent motive. All that connects them is their cold-blooded efficiency. But a dogged Seattle detective and a horribly bereaved survivor are about to come face-to-face with their perpetrator--a man named Los, a self-styled prophet who has the power to make his followers travel thousands of miles to kill for him. Out of mayhem and revelation, the minutiae of police work and the explosive contents of a psychotic mind, Michael Dibdin orchestrates a tour de force of dread. This should be read with the lights on and the doors firmly bolted.
Among the emerging generation of crime writers, none is as stylish and intelligent as Michael Dibdin, who, in Dead Lagoon, gives us a deliciously creepy new novel featuring the urbane and skeptical Aurelio Zen, a detective whose unenviable task it is to combat crime in a country where today's superiors may be tomorrow's defendants.Zen returns to his native Venice. He is searching for the ghostly tormentors of a half-demented contessa and a vanished American millionaire whose family is paying Zen under the table to determine his whereabouts-dead or alive. But he keeps stumbling over corpses that are distressingly concrete: from the crooked cop found drowned in one of the city's noisome "black wells" to a brand-new skeleton that surfaces on the Isle of the Dead. The result is a mystery rich in character and deduction, and intensely informed about the history, politics, and manners of its Venetian setting.
A comedy of manners, a mystery thriller, and a sardonic satire whose deliciously unscrupulous narrator claims that everything he did regarding his victims was "market-led," Dirty Tricks is pure entertainment from one of the most inventive writers around.When the nameless narrator embarks upon an affair with Karen, a seemingly vapid P.E. teacher married to a boring accountant, he does not know her fetish is for adultery while her husband is in the room or loitering nearby. But once he finds out, he doesn't care. He has been abroad for twenty years, and since his return to merry old England he's been startlingly uninhibited by morals or a conscience. Which is not only why he eventually gets involved with blackmail, a kidnapping, and two murders, but also how, with hilariously syllogistic logic, he's able to justify his role in all of it.
One of England's most acclaimed younger mystery writers, the creator of Detective Aurelio Zen, gives us a brilliant and haunting variation on the classic drawing-room murder novel. The setting is Eventide Lodge, where the guests have gathered for tea. Colonel Weatherby is reading by the fire. Mrs. Hargreave III is whiling away her time at patience. And Miss Rosemary Travis and her friend, Dorothy, are wondering which of their housemates will be the next to die.For even as Michael Dibdin's elderly sleuths debate clues and motives, it becomes clear that Eventide Lodge is not a genteel country inn but a place of ghastly cruelties and humiliations. A place where the logic of murder is . . .almost comforting. At once affectionate homage and audacious satire, The Dying of the Light will delight any aficionado of Patricia Highsmith, Peter Dickinson, or Ruth Rendell.
One of the world's best crime fiction writers returns with his eleventh Aurelio Zen novel, a complex, breathtaking story about murder, malice, and monstrous egos set in the dangerous mountain region of Calabria, Italy. Winner of both the Gold Dagger and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for earlier novels in the Aurelio Zen series. In Calabria, Italy, an American lawyer is missing, presumed kidnapped. A movie company is about to start filming the story of the Book of Revelation. An obsessed games player, richer than Croesus, is determined to find an ancient Roman statue that is buried under a river. A team of mercenaries is on its way there from Iraq to assist. And Aurelio Zen's latest posting is Cosenza, Calabria, where the local chief of police has shot himself in the foot. Looking down on all this activity is the abandoned village of Altomonte, once the seat of the powerful Calopezzati family. When the lawyer's bloody corpse is discovered in Altomonte, Zen is determined to find a way to penetrate the local code of silence and uncover the truth. But his quest is quickly complicated by the lavish and clandestine treasure hunt, which Zen learns is being carried out by no ordinary fanatics. Fast-paced, multi-layered, and full of unexpected turns,End Gamestakes the reader on a journey deep into a proud and ancient culture, and into the dark corners of the human heart.
After his adventures under sun-drenched Neapolitan skies in Cosi Fan Tutti, Aurelio Zen finds himself back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment: to release the jailed scion of an important wine-growing family who is accused of a brutal murder. Zen travels north to an Italy as outwardly serene as Naples was manic. Amid the quiet fields, autumnal skies and crumbling farmhouses of Piedmont, Zen must try to penetrate a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricably linked. Here secrets can last for generations, and have a finish as long and lingering as that of a good Barbaresco. Zen must also face up to mysteries from his own past, as well as grapple with the greed, envy, hatred and love that are the human components of any landscape.
Michael Dibdin's veteran Italian police officer is back. The newest addition to this remarkable series -- consistently galvanizing as much for its revelation of the subtle complexities of Italian life as for its page-turning suspense -- is a novel of long-held secrets set against a sweeping background of political and passionate intrigue. When a group of Austrian cavers exploring a network of abandoned military tunnels in the Italian Alps comes across human remains at the bottom of a deep shaft, everyone assumes the death was accidental. Until, that is, the still-unidentified body is stolen from the morgue and the Defense Ministry puts a news blackout on the case. And is the recent car bombing in Campione D'Italia, a tiny tax haven surrounded on all sides by Switzerland, somehow related? The whole affair has the whiff of political corruption. That's enough to interest Aurelio Zen's boss at the Interior Ministry, who wants to know who is hiding what from whom, and why. The search for the truth leads Zen back into the murky history of postwar Italy and the obscure corners of modern-day society to uncover the truth about a crime that everyone thought was as dead and buried as its victim. From the Hardcover edition.
In this masterpiece of psychological suspense, Italian Police Commissioner Aurelio Zen is dispatched to investigate the kidnapping of Ruggiero Miletti, a powerful Perugian industrialist. But nobody much wants Zen to succeed: not the local authorities, who view him as an interloper, and certainly not Miletti's children, who seem content to let the head of the family languish in the hands of his abductors -- if he's still alive.Was Miletti truly the victim of professionals? Or might his kidnapper be someone closer to home: his preening son Daniele, with his million-lire wardrobe and his profitable drug business? His daughter, Cinzia, whose vapid beauty conceals a devastating secret? The perverse Silvio, or the eldest son Pietro, the unscrupulous fixer who manipulates the plots of others for his own ends? As Zen tries to unravel this rat's nest of family intrigue and official complicity, Michael Dibdin gives us one of his most accomplished thrillers, a chilling masterpiece of police procedure and psychological suspense.
Florence, 1855. "The English are dying too much," the city's police chief observes. And members of the foreign community in this quaint Italian backwater, both English and American, are indeed dying at an alarming rate and in an extraordinary variety of ingenious and horrible ways. With the local authorities out of their depth, the distinguished resident Robert Browning launches his own private investigation, aided and abetted by an ex-patriot Robert Booth. Unfortunately, their amateur sleuthing is hampered by the fact that each of their suspects becomes the next victim in a series of murders orchestrated by a killer with a taste for poetic justice. A Rich Full Death features characters both historical and imaginary, ranging from an enticing servant girl to Mr. Browning's consumptive, world-famous wife, Elizabeth Barrett, in a tale lush with period detail, intricately plotted, and with a truly astonishing final twist.
Thanksgiving is a moving portrait of the profound effects of love when all that seems to remain is loss and grief. Unhinged by his wife's unexpected death, Anthony, a middle-aged Seattle journalist, becomes obsessed with her past. He drives through the Nevada desert to locate her ex-husband looking for some unnamable solace. But, what awaits him is a bizarre and violent encounter with the past that entangles Anthony with his half-estranged stepchildren, the police, and his own disquieted mind and that only makes Lucy's ghostly presence seem all the more real. The crisp dialogue, shadowy atmosphere, and sharp pacing of a master crime writer work to great effect in this arresting story that toys with the precipice of insanity and the extremes of passion and loss. This is a splendid shadow play on the enduring human mystery of love.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"One of my patients thinks somebody's trying to kill him," Aileen Macklin says to her husband over breakfast. A psychiatrist with a fading marriage, Aileen is haunted by the glue-sniffing lad who comes to her in a panic, begging to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for protection. Gary Dunn clearly needs help: ravaged by his squalid existence, he is paralyzed with fear about a murder he has witnessed and convinced he may be next. Unfortunately for Gary, he may just be right. And unfortunately for Aileen, she becomes far more involved in his case than professional ethics would recommend.
In Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen, Michael Dibdin has given the mystery one of its most complex and compelling protagonists: a man wearily trying to enforce the law in a society where the law is constantly being bent. In this, the first novel he appears in, Zen himself has been assigned to do some law bending. Officials in a high government ministry want him to finger someone--anyone--for the murder of an eccentric billionaire, whose corrupt dealings enriched some of the most exalted figures in Italian politics.But Oscar Burolo's murder would seem to be not just unsolvable but impossible. The magnate was killed on a heavily fortified Sardinian estate, where every room was monitored by video cameras. Those cameras captured Burolo's grisly death, but not the face of his killer. And that same killer, elusive, implacable, and deranged, may now be stalking Zen. Inexorable in its suspense, superbly atmospheric, Vendetta is further proof of Dibdin's mastery of the crime novel.