Synopses & Reviews
The great basilica of St. Peter's has long held a bizarre fascination for those intent upon ending their lives. But this time the man who has jumped to his death could prove most embarrassing to the Vatican, which is why Aurelio Zen must reluctantly leave his lover's bed to investigate Prince Ludovico Ruspanti's apparent suicide.
Caught between Italian government equivocations and Vatican City Intrigues, Zen is pressured to confirm the suicide despite evidence to the contrary. But rumors implying the involvement of a mysterious organization called the Cabal forces a genuine investigation on the part of the beleaguered Zen, who sees his own career in danger of taking a tumble as lethal as the one that killed the prince.
Two more deaths and a unique case of mistaken identity further convince Zen that he has become the pawn in a game he can't afford, whose players are some of his country's most powerful and dangerous men.
Zen pursues crazy leads and zany temptations from Rome to Milan. Waiting for him there is a diabolic aristocrat, a cutting-edge fashion statement -- and a wild confrontation with a killer high above the glittering Galleria, one of the world's most glamorous shopping malls.
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.
About the Author
Michael Dibdin was born in England and moved extensively around the British Isles until his parents reluctantly agreed to his ultimatum, aged seven, that he for one intended to stay put in Northern Ireland, where they were then living. He later spent five years in Canada, working as a painting contractor, and another five in Perugia, Italy, where he taught English at the local university. In 1995 he officially achieved the status which has defined his entire life, that of Resident Alien, and now lives with his wife, the writer Kathrine Beck, and a varying selection of their five children in two turn-of-the-century houses in Seattle, Washington. Dibdin has written thirteen novels, eight of them in the popular Aurelio Zen series, including Ratking, which won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger, and Cabal, which was awarded the French Grand Prix du Roman Policier. His work has been translated into eighteen languages.