"Cabal" was the last of the Aurelio Zen mysteries that I had not read. Now that I have, I can state the body of work taken as a whole is great. As in any group of books some are stronger than others, but none will disappoint. About the only complaint I have is that some of the individual works could have been of greater length. Some were perfectly finished in their relatively brief form, but some like "Cabal", could have benefited from having more time to tell their story.
Mr. Dibdin is a great writer, and I have read all but one of his non "Aurelio" books, and they too are worthwhile. I have reviewed them all, so I will minimize general comments here. I read the books out of sequence, and while there were some references to previous books, there was nothing so fundamental that it detracted from whatever book I was reading. I actually started with "Blood Rain" which is the newest of Mr. Dibdin's works.
The series takes place all over Italy, and "Cabal" takes place primarily in Rome with the central event, taking place at The Vatican. In addition to the intrigue that often surrounds stories of this small Country, Mr. Dibdin adds the Knights Of Malta, The Cabal, and centuries old Families of Italy to this mystery. The contemporary world of Italian Fashion, Aurelio girlfriend's moonlighting, and Aurelio's temptations to a darker side when he feels he is loosing his girl, all make for fun reading, although I believe with more time the book could have developed more completely. There was a great deal happening in this book, and it feels as though it was compressed into its final size.
Mr. Dibdin is a great writer, and this series is without qualification reading time well spent. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.