And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen) Hardcover – 8 Dec 2001
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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
'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 ExpressSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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 ?
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.
June Finnigan - Writer
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How dissappointingly unbelievable was this plot- the story line centres on missed opportunities of an assassin's attempts to kill our hero. Read morePublished 6 months ago by jeffwallin
Following the dramatic ending to ‘Blood Rain’, the last book in this series, the author introduces us to Pier Giorgio Butani relaxing on a private beach next to what will soon... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dr R
Thank goodness. A light at the end of a tunnel. It's nice to read that the protagonist (Zen) has a little good fortune in this latest saga.Published 14 months ago by Andrea Killough
Not the treat I expected. Storyline was barely credible and anticlimactic. I would advise anyone to skip this and get on with the real Zen in the earlier novels like Vendetta.Published 20 months ago by Mr. P. Skeldon
Was expecting more closure on Sicily adventure, don't like authors who keep trying to drag you along to another book to complete a story.Published 21 months ago by David Webb
All a bit unbelievable. If you saw the TV series with Rufus Sewel then you would probably be disappointed with this.Published 23 months ago by GrumpyGrizzly