2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Good Vintage with a nice Long Finish if somewhat corked.,
This review is from: Aurelio Zen: A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen Mysteries (AudioGo)) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)For reasons connected with the Byzantine nature of Italian politics Zen arrives in a Piedmontese town to investigate a murder. The unhelpful 'helpful' locals and the hicktown Carabiniere, who seem more disposed to get him back to Rome post-haste rather than investigate the crime, combine with his unprepossessing accomodation and a cold to disenchant him with the whole business. But, there again, there are few more Byzantine than Aurelio Zen so can all be as it seems? As usual every character appears to have their own agenda, even the rail and bus crews.
Besides attempting to see through the fog of obfuscation, and the farragoes of half-truths, and various lies with which he is amply supplied Zen has to deal with another problem. He is faced with an apparent nebulous presence which taunts him mercilessly at the most inopportune of moments, and who's connection with the case he is at a loss to understand. The resolution of this problem I found a little less than satisfying though not altogether bizarre.
Gradually, with the plentiful application of truffles and an almost limitless supply of Barbaresco, some of questionable origin, our stolid hero, who is in no great rush to return to the capital, doggedly ploughs his way through an apparent miasma of rustic gourmandise, filial hatred, ramshackle alliances, aristocratic savoir faire, official ineptitude, and internecine rivalries not quite bordering upon open warfare as the investigation ambles to its conclusion.
Michael Dibdin paints a vivid, sometimes garish, picture of the Northern Italian state of Piedmont, it is almost possible to smell the heady scent of ripening grapes vying with the almost imperceptible fragrance of truffles in the damp earth, the pungent aroma of strong coffee mingling with Italian tobacco smoke, and to narrow one's eyes to view the distant morning skyline.
Although stretching itself over eight CDs the narrative flows quite well with no great sagging as can be found in the works of less able writers. Another Zen story I am happy to recommend.