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Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07) [Paperback]

Michael Dibdin
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

5 Aug 2004 Aurelio Zen 07

After his last case, among the gentle hills and lush vineyards of Piedmont, Inspector Zen finally receives the order he has been dreading all his professional life: his next posting is to Sicily.

The gruesome discovery of an unidentified, decomposed corpse sealed in a railway wagon on a disused siding marks the beginning of Zen's most difficult and dangerous case. Set against the backdrop of the three thousand-year-old city of Catania, in the shadow of the smouldering volcano of Etna, Blood Rain reveals Aurelio Zen at his most desperate and driven.

'The best detective novelist around.' Sunday Times

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Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07) + And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen 08) + Medusa (An Aurelio Zen Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (5 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571202888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571202881
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Dibdin's diffidently honest Italian policeman Aurelio Zen has got the posting he always dreaded--he has been sent to Sicily, home of the Mafia, in a nondescript liaison job. The woman who might be his daughter is there too, fixing police computers and worried that someone has a backdoor into data; she is enjoying a flirtation with a woman magistrate whose pursuit of the Mafia is based on quite personal agendas. Someone died nastily of heatstroke and starvation in a railway van on a siding--the Limoni family deny, as local Mafia chieftains anxious to retain prestige would, that it was their missing son; and someone will end up paying in blood for this murder that never happened. Dibdin's picture of a Sicily full of death and confusion is evocative and plausible; Zen's reluctant pursuit of at least some part of the truth, some vestige of honour, is moving and powerful. This is an emotionally complex thriller in which the starkest of tragedy is counterpointed by outbreaks of bizarre comedy Zen finds himself allies in unlikely places and the internal squabblings of the Mafia clans would be hilarious if they were not so blood- curdling .--Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


?As bracing as grappa.... Michael Dibdin is a fine novelist and an excellent mystery writer. "USA Today"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classy and absorbing detective story. 18 Oct 1999
By A Customer
The latest in the Aurelio Zen mysteries is a welcome addition to Dibdin's genre of 'whodunnit' Italian travel writing, and as usual the sense of place and atmosphere is richly evocative. It is predominantly set in Sicily, and, as one would expect, it is filled with the intricacies of local mafia politics, although these are refreshingly unglamourized.
Dibdin moves with great flair between the humourously mundane and the starkly horrifying. In this regard I was particularly taken with the crime that initiates the story, in which the the remains of a man who has been slowly baked to death after being shut in an abandoned railway truck cannot be identified because of the undecipherable accompanying note, which could either indicate a member of the "Limina" clan, or that the carriage's decomposed goods were once lemons.
The book's plotting is intricate and devious, but the glimpses into the character of the enignmatic Inspector are just as facinating. In this sense "Blood Rain" is one of the darkest of the "Zen" novels, being far removed from the light comedy of "Cosi Fan Tutti". Zen is at his most haunted and anxious here, as he is confronted by a series of disasters in his increasingly barren personal life.
This novel does have some weaknesses. Dibdin's commentaries on Italian history can be annoyingly pedagogic, and his explanatations of regional characteristics could easily seem patronising to those described. Furthermore, Zen's encounter with some drunken English football fans later on in the novel struck me as a rather contrived insertion into an otherwise fluent narrative. These flaws are quickly forgotten, however, in the enjoyment of Dibdin's prose and the development of his endearingly quirky and fallible protagonist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Audio book review- a-bit---precise 2 Feb 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Right - it was the TV adaptation that brought Zen to my attention. The Kindle sample chapter of Ratking was readable enough, and before I had a chance to do anything else, I was lent this audio version of a book part way through the series. I'm not sure if I'd happened upon this as my first experience that I would go any further. I just can't take Michael Kitchen's style (although he is totally amiable as an actor). Its-----too----precise. Like someone confidently making a speech on a boat that suddenly gets hit by the waves, his voice is prone to rolling --in--precisely--counted----intervals-which-suddenly-change-in--length--but--stay--in--control. The Italian pronunciation is "correct" (as far as I can judge), it just lacks passion or deliberate careful lack of passion (as per Rufus Sewell's characterisation). I just feel I want to read the books and discover my own interpretation- I just can't get used to Mr Kitchen's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Michael Kitchen reads this complete, unabridged Aurelio Zen audio CD novel (by bestselling author Michael Dibdin). Inspector Zen has finally received the order he has been fearing all his working life: his next posting is to Sicily, home of the Mafia. The discovery of an unidentified male, left to die locked in a metal railway wagon on a disused siding marks the beginning of Zen's most difficult and dangerous case. The powerful Limoni Mafia family deny it's their missing son, and then things get even nastier as Zen investigates. It's all very atmospheric and even a bit surreal in places as Zen gets into an emotional turmoil. A great story, and I thought generally well read by one of my favourite actors, so 4*. I think I might have preferred to read the paperbook as I could read faster, or have a slightly abridged audio version, as the 8 hours on 8 audio CDs were a bit of a slog to get through - although it did rip easily to the iPod and I also enjoyed listening to it in the car.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I listened to "Blood Rain" on audio CD (8 to be precise), read by Michael Kitchen. It felt like Michael Kitchen took the first CD to warm up, his clipped English and occasional sighs being very off-putting and very out of place in that first CD. He seems a strange choice to read Aurelio Zen stories. However, after the first CD, his reading style felt better and the story flowed well. In fact, I would say that the story was very good - well written and interesting, with an unexpected turning point in the midst of the story. I found this intelligent but easy listening, and it had me gripped. And then ... the ending. What can I say? Well, after eight CDs, the last few seconds were hopeless - completely predictable (to the point of semaphored beforehand), disappointing after the good writing earlier on, not well read, and to cap it all for audio listeners - there was no silence at the end of CD 8 to digest the story before (in my car's CD player at least) the CD looped back to the beginning again and carried on playing. That last point may seem very minor, but it was annoying - I barely had time to think "was that it?" before my thought was interrupted by the start of the CD again. Twenty seconds of silence at the end is not a lot to ask for...

So, to summarise, eight CDs, first one not brilliantly read, but after that well read and with a good story, all capped off by a disappointing ending. I'd still recommend it (with caveats), but think it might be better in printed form than read by Michael Kitchen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 5 months ago by Dr. S. Balboa
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the structure
True to his style (Michael Dibdin), its hard work getting past the first 30 - 50 pages of his books and it also helps if you've read the preceding books in the series. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Gerard Menard
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
A strange variant on previous novels. Zen appears to be less active. The pace hots up very late, and the end leaves you gasping.
Published 7 months ago by Aurelio
4.0 out of 5 stars Better in sound without the pictures
The TV series was a flop, but this audiobook is quite good. A big reason for that is the ever excellent reading by Michael Kitchen (Inspector Foyle). Read more
Published 8 months ago by The Kinniburgh Kid
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07)
First came across Aurelio Zen on television and very much enjoyed the experience and in the same way discovered Inspector Montalbano. Read more
Published 19 months ago by C. ANTJOULE
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable detective story with heart
I enjoyed this; the text is well read and the story has inventiveness, social interest, humanity (and brutality) and wit. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Angus Jenkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
This is a good story, well narrated. If you're familiar with the author then you'll enjoy it.

My only problem with it is that because it's on CD, rather than an MP3... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Clarke
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Rain
This is the seventh in the series of novels featuring Aurelio Zen, a detective from Venice. Each novel finds Zen in a different part of Italy, in this case Sicily. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ragnar
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller
Michael Kitchen is the ideal voice for this tense and pacey thriller. They have a slightly edgier feel than the glossy TV series but is, in fact, all the better for it.
Published 20 months ago by Prospero77
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Shame that the great BBC TV series was axed as this is a good and interesting character. This audio is well made and the only problem I had was that I choose to listen in the car... Read more
Published 22 months ago by TeamScoop
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