Italian noir at its cynical best. This is gripping police procedural writing, but in a world where the procedures are more geared towards internecine strife and shifting of personal position than necessarily solving crimes; it is a world of who you know and from whom you can request favors, whether it is the fraternity of the police, the Ministry, the Mafia, the Church, the government (p. 250).
Loved it. Can't wait for the rest of the Zen series.
I picked this up because of the upcoming PBS new mystery series on Aurelio Zen starring Rufus Seawell. I was sad that this mystery was no longer set in Venice, but very much enjoyed the history and detail of the settings in Rome and esp in Sardinia. Author Dibdin creates a complex sense of setting -- cultural, political, geographical. I appreciated his highlighting of intercultural and interpersonal tensions, such as of how local Sardinians see Italians. The mystery felt a little slow moving, and I fell asleep several times reading it (compared to other mysteries where you want to fall asleep because it's already past midnight, but you can't). The intermittent ramblings of the crazed murderer in italics could have been left out as they added nothing to the plot or insight to the killer's psychology. I think those are probably more fun to write than they are to read. Looking forward to the PBS series.
Aurelio Zen is still adjusting to his new situation in Rome, not quite ?one of the boys' and knowing he has a keen rival in one of his colleagues. He's sent to Sardinia to put together evidence that will implicate another person, thus freeing a politically savvy suspect, in a murder. Zen enters dangerous territory but, of course, solves the crime and may have found someone to love as the book comes to a close.
This is my introduction to the late English writer Michael Dibdin's work. I am reading--my own, not library copy--because the first three Aurelio Zen mysteries will be PBS Masterpiece Mysteries this summer . Actor Rufus Sewell plays Zen, in my mind, a perfect choice. It's a good mystery.
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