Synopses & Reviews
Ratking, Vendetta, Cabal, Dead Lagoon, Così Fan Tutti in each of these masterfully suspenseful and atmospheric novels we have met Michael Dibdin's Italian Criminalpol officer Aurelio Zen. Intelligent and urbane (if a little weary), Zen galvanizes us not only with his ability to solve the most intractable crimes but also with his methodology. He is both devious and moral, a slave to the status quo and original in his thinking, amused by his own torpor and surprised by his drive. Now, in A Long Finish
, he is driven by something new: a steely instinct for self-preservation coupled with a love of good food and wine.
After a riotous and heroic stint in Naples, Zen is back in Rome, meeting with a world-famous film director at the instruction of his superiors. In the privacy of a remarkably well stocked wine cellar, the director whose influence clearly reaches beyond the entertainment industry convinces Zen to arrange for the release of the scion of an important wine-growing family, who has been jailed for the murder of his own father. At stake for the director, a connoisseur of Piedmontese wines, is this year's vintage: only the jailed man can ensure the timely harvesting of his family's precious grapes. At stake for Zen: avoiding a posting to the dreaded Sicily.
In Alba an outwardly serene village set among rolling hills that are planted with vines for as far as the eye can see Zen discovers that only spilled blood can separate a family from its land. And though murder here is rare, it is complex. But at least it's accompanied by heaping plates of pasta, generous shavings of white truffles, and bottomless glasses of wine. If only Zen can keep his policing skills as sharp as his palate is pampered...
About the Author
Michael Dibdin is the author of eleven previous novels, including The Dying of the Light, Dead
Lagoon, Dark Specter, Così Fan Tutti, Ratking, and Vendetta (all available from Vintage Books). He lives in Seattle.