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And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen Book 8) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Dibdin
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aurelio Zen was dead to the world. Under the next umbrella, a few desirable metres closer to the sea, Massimo Rutelli was just dead.

Inspector Zen is back, but nobody's supposed to know it. After months in hospital recovering from a bomb attack on his car, he is lying low under a false name at a beach resort on the Tuscan coast, waiting to testify in an imminent anti-Mafia trial. But when an alarming number of people are dropping dead around him, it seems just a matter of time before the Mafia manages to finish the job it bungled months before on a lonely Sicilian road. The pleasant monotony of resort life is cut short as Zen finds himself transported to a remote and strange world far from home...and wherever he goes, trouble follows.

If you enjoyed the Inspector Zen Mystery series you may also like The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, another crime novel by Michael Dibdin.



Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

And Then You Die marks the resurrection of the difficult-to-kill Aurelio Zen. Of course, we all knew he wasn't dead. The shining light of Rome's Criminalpol, Zen, appeared to die in a bomb attack on his car, but Michael Dibdin fans were quietly confident that we hadn't seen the last of one of the most distinctive sleuths in the genre.

After months in a hospital recovering from the injuries sustained in the Mafia attack, Zen is incommunicado at a beach resort on the Tuscan coast, psyching himself up to testify in a forthcoming anti-Mafia trial. His orders are straightforward: lie back and relax in a classic Italian beach holiday. He is happy to do this, and even flirts with the seductive woman under the next beach umbrella. It goes without saying that his idyll is short-lived, and as a remarkable number of people begin to die around him, it becomes apparent that the Cosa Nostra is intent on finishing the murder attempt that went wrong months ago on a Sicilian road.

This is Dibdin stripped to the bone: a pared-down, fast-moving narrative that demands to be read at one or two sittings. The uncharitable might say that Dibdin has dashed it off rather quickly, but such is his skill that few will complain when the rewards offered here are so plentiful. Welcome back, Aurelio. --Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

And Then You Die marks the resurrection of the difficult-to-kill Aurelio Zen. Of course, we all knew he wasn't dead. The shining light of Rome's Criminalpol, Zen, appeared to die in a bomb attack on his car, but Michael Dibdin fans were quietly confident that we hadn't seen the last of one of the most distinctive sleuths in the genre.

After months in a hospital recovering from the injuries sustained in the Mafia attack, Zen is incommunicado at a beach resort on the Tuscan coast, psyching himself up to testify in a forthcoming anti-Mafia trial. His orders are straightforward: lie back and relax in a classic Italian beach holiday. He is happy to do this, and even flirts with the seductive woman under the next beach umbrella. It goes without saying that his idyll is short-lived, and as a remarkable number of people begin to die around him, it becomes apparent that the Cosa Nostra is intent on finishing the murder attempt that went wrong months ago on a Sicilian road.

This is Dibdin stripped to the bone: a pared-down, fast-moving narrative that demands to be read at one or two sittings. The uncharitable might say that Dibdin has dashed it off rather quickly, but such is his skill that few will complain when the rewards offered here are so plentiful. Welcome back, Aurelio. --Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B001SPWU0O
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Crime; New Ed edition (20 Nov. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI91HG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,474 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratking in 1988, which won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year and introduced us to his Italian detective - Inspector Aurelio Zen. In 1989 The Tryst was published to great acclaim and was followed by Vendetta in 1990, the second story in the Zen series. Dirty Tricks was published in 1991. Inspector Zen made his third appearance in Cabal, which was published in 1992. The Dying of the Light, an Agatha Christie pastiche, was published in 1993. His fourth Zen novel, Dead Lagoon, was published the following year. His next novel, Dark Spectre, was published in 1995. Two more Zen novels followed: Cosi Fan Tutti, set in Naples, was published in 1996 and A Long Finish was published in 1998. Blood Rain, the seventh Zen novel, was published in 1999. Thanksgiving was published in 2000, with the eighth Zen, And Then You Die, appearing in 2002. Aurelio Zen returned in Medusa, in August 2003, and then again in Back to Bologna in 2005. His last novel, End Games, was published posthumously in July 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A happy ending for Zen? 15 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The delay in publishing Dibdin's non-fiction work 'The Vine' means that this year's book is And Then You Die, in which Zen's post-explosion life is examined.

Zen has entered a witness protection programme prior to his being flown to the US to testify against the mafia which attempted to kill him at the end of 'Blood Rain'. He is spending his time at an Italian seaside resort, soaking up the rays and idly flirting with the woman sunbathing next to him. When the man who one day usurps his bathing spot is found dead - probably a result of a professional hit - Zen is whisked off to the States; unfortunately it seems that the mafia are only too well aware of his location...

Dibdin is a terrific writer, and we all enjoy his humourous barbs at modern society. However, this is a very short work, and reads mainly as a coda to 'Blood Rain' - it seems that this may be Zen's swansong, and also a way for MD to resurrect him should the need arise in the future.

Overall an enjoyable but too brief return of Zen!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Then You Almost Die 28 Nov. 2002
By taking a rest HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
The last installment in this series by Michael Dibdin gave fans of this Aurelio Zen story arc a reason to pause. Zen however is most certainly back, using a variety of names other than his own, as he mends from the bomb that nearly ended his run as one of the better detectives that exist only on paper. The folks that wanted Zen dead have not changed their mind, and in this surprisingly humorous book, a series of bodies fall within a few feet of Zen, victims of occupying the wrong spot on a beach or seat in a plane.

I have read all the books in the series and this newest addition is easily among the best. Zen has shared his life in a hopelessly corrupt and bureaucratic Italy, the occasional girlfriend and his colorful mother. This time we learn more about Aurelio, as he is required to travel to The United States. It is here we learn of Aurelio's classical view of where travel is appropriate; specifically, reasonable places to go are limited to those areas once in control of The Roman Empire. If the Romans never bothered with America, why should he? And to fly across an ocean is simply madness.

His destination is Los Angeles an area he becomes comfortable with seeing because he imagines it as rather a bucolic locale with a great number of Catholics. His rationale for Catholics versus Protestants has less to do with which is better and more to do with the devil you know.

As he has with the other installments of this series Michael Dibdin spins a great tale, maintains the tension and suspense, and essentially misdirects the reader through much of the book. Happily for Aurelio he finds a companion, and they become bound together by a combination of love and bizarre events. I hope this new female character appears again for she is a match for Aurelio, and adds a great new personality to the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars And Then You Die 18 Aug. 2012
By Ragnar VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
In this, the eighth title in the Aurelio Zen series, our hero spots a T-shirt. On the front are the words `Life's a Beach', on the back `And Then You Die'. So this book takes its title from the back of a T-shirt.

The previous book in the series, Blood Rain, left several loose ends, most notably the cliff-hanger at the end which leaves the reader uncertain whether Zen has survived an explosion or not. These are tied up in this book where Zen, having spent several months recovering from his injuries, is left to recuperate by the sea. He has to do this anonymously since there is reason to believe the Mafia will kill him to prevent him testifying at a trial in the United States.

However the Mafia, if that is who it is, prove remarkably adept at tracking him down, so he is obliged to keep on the move to stay alive and the book consists of episodes in different locations, ending up where it began - the Tuscan sea-side resort of Versilia.

One of these episodes takes him to Iceland, and it is clear that there is nothing about Iceland which Zen likes, which includes the landscape, the people, and the food. Not only that, but he sees the Icelandic equivalent of the little people (huldufólk, or hidden people) which few do since, according to the author, they are invisible to most. His hostility to Iceland persists after his return to Italy. Take this short dialogue (Page 155):

`Iceland has that effect on you.'
`Of making you drunk?'
`Of making you need to get drunk.'

The author might explain all this as Zen's reaction to Iceland, and we can't assume they are his personal views, but it does seem gratuitously rude.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Lives 15 Jan. 2003
Format:Paperback
Perhaps in my sub-consious Zen was dead.
How wrong could I have been.
He's back stronger, more cynical and as crafty as a fox.
Dibdin leads us, addicted, into Zen's paranoid mind, as our beloved hero is swept around the world, a trail of corpses in his wake.
To the land to which so many of his compatriotes had gone in search of a dream, America, he waits his summons to appears as a star witness in a Mafia trial.
An enormously enjoyable read.
Silly me, isn't he always ?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Italy, take if from me
Have been re-reading the Aurelio Zen books after a gap of 10 years, this time in order, which helps. And Then You Die is set in Sicily. Read more
Published 29 days ago by MissieB
2.0 out of 5 stars I would advise anyone to skip this and get on with the real Zen in the...
Not the treat I expected. Storyline was barely credible and anticlimactic. I would advise anyone to skip this and get on with the real Zen in the earlier novels like Vendetta.
Published 4 months ago by Mr. P. Skeldon
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Was expecting more closure on Sicily adventure, don't like authors who keep trying to drag you along to another book to complete a story.
Published 5 months ago by David Webb
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the TV series
All a bit unbelievable. If you saw the TV series with Rufus Sewel then you would probably be disappointed with this.
Published 7 months ago by GrumpyGrizzly
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not one of my favourite Zen books, but it's OK
Published 7 months ago by lou
5.0 out of 5 stars An old favourite which I can read and read again
An old favourite which I can read and read again. Aurelio Zen is one of my most loved creations, what a pity Michael Dibdin has gone.
Published 7 months ago by T F Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars And then you die (an Aurelio Zen mystery
I really rate Michael Dibdin as an author. In my eyes he can do no wrong. I can lose myself so easily in his books.
Published 14 months ago by Mags
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read in a great series.
As usual Michael Dibdin portrays his quirky Italian detective perfectly.
A very entertaining read, sometimes funny sometimes thought provoking and always with a slightly... Read more
Published 16 months ago by C.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes it does include "life's a beach"
Very hard to put down, with a plot that seems to be part real, part imagined. Very much a part 2 to Blood Rain so do not think of reading And then you die before you have read... Read more
Published 16 months ago by R
5.0 out of 5 stars ZEN
I am a big fan of the series and enjoy all of these books. Have not been let down by any of them.Will keep buying them and reading them.
Published 17 months ago by Dr. S. Balboa
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