Monday, 5 August 2013

An Italian detective.......and a British author.

Cover of "Back to Bologna"
Cover of Back to Bologna
Michael Dibdin's novels set in Italy featuring Commissario Aurelio Zen, an Italian maverick policeman, are set in a different parts of Italy, and one in Sicily. Sicily! The name alone makes you wince for the fate of a policeman in the home territory of the Mafia. He survives.
The Aurelio Zen books are:
  1. Ratking (1988)
  2. Vendetta (1990)
  3. Cabal (1992)
  4. Dead Lagoon (1994)
  5. Cosi Fan Tutti (1996)
  6. A Long Finish (1998)
  7. Blood Rain (1999)
  8. And Then You Die (2002)
  9. Medusa (2003)
  10. Back to Bologna (2005)
  11. End Games (2007)
 Start where you like, there may be brief references to an earlier story but nothing vital to enjoyment of the current one. You get a feeling of what it must be like to live with Italian bureaucracy and politicians  - and how similar they are to the British versions. Yes, corruption in public and business life; we have them too and they are continually coming to public knowledge. They have always been there. We just prefer to read of them in other countries, or at least I do. There is plenty of excitement and suspense, too; plus Zen's love life and his mother's influence.

Of his other books, the one I have read so far is set in the USA, in the Seattle area with scenes in Texas and the East. It is called Dark Spectre and shows an understanding of American life-styles and idiom. The latter put me off on my first try but when I later read the book to the end it was one element that made the story almost believable.

Unfortunately, Dibdin, a British born writer, died in 2007 at the early age of 60 after having settled finally in Seattle.

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