9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing Dibdin, 27 Sep 2006
I have followed the career of Inspector Zen closely for a number of years, but I think that he is clearly due for retirement. In 'Back to Bologna' Dibdin seems to be going through the motions: he has brought Zen back from the dead, but not to life. The plotting is slipshod: the Curti murder is not explored sufficiently, nor is the football milieu in which it takes place,and Dibdin gives the impression that he has never been to a football game. This background is clumsily provided in the form of long explanations given to Zen by a fellow police officer. The figure of Tony Speranza is ludicrous and unnecessary, apparently only there to provide the murder weapon. Dibdin indulges himself by painting an unflattering picture of Umberto Eco and all his (bestselling) works, although this is hardly likely to worry the academic author himself. The deterioration of Zen's relationship with his 'wife' is not explained, and Zen's physical and psychological problems, described at length at the beginning of the book, seem to disappear on his return to Bologna. I find the combination of farce and cynicism which characterises Dibdin's recent books rather unpleasant. In future I will stick to Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti.