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And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen) Hardcover – 8 Dec 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First edition (8 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571210325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571210329
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,062,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

Review

'One of the most accomplished writers of his generation.' The Times 'Dibdin has brought a particular narrative brilliance and fastidious intelligence to the detective story.' Sunday Express

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on 15 Jan. 2002
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is volume 8 in the series of Aurelio Zen novels. I must have bought it as a Kindle Deal at some stage and just started reading it on impulse. It is a rather slight tale, the detective has been forced to take a holiday at the beach to recuperate from an accident and we gradually come to suspect that someone is trying to kill him.

Both the author and the hero are intelligent and charming, and they provide engaging company. The book is full of a real love for the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy.

In terms of writing, content and entertainment value, this is a top quality thriller. The ending easily propels you into purchasing more in the series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. Each book gives a rich flavour of the city in which it is set. I consider Michael Dibdin a seriously under-rated novelist. His prose is rich and characters complex. But it is the descriptions of each city's landscape and individuality which gives the series their flair. If you love Italy, take if from me, it is worth starting with Ratking and working your way through to End Games. Like me, you will feel you have had a tour through the country, its culture and vagaries. You will be sad to get to the end but will certainly enjoy the journey.
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By Hugh C on 30 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
MICHEAL DIBDIN, Has written this book with renewed brilliance. I have scarcely been able to lay it down. All of the characters have been so alive and believable,and the twists and turns surprising and delightful. More please,thank you for the pleasure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Zen has survived a bomb blast and is recovering on the west coast of Tuscany. He is in hiding with an assumed name. Then a man dies lying on Zen's usual sun bed..........
June Finnigan - Writer
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