Perugia, he thought. Chocolates, Etruscans, that fat painter, radios and gramophones, the University for Foreigners, sportswear. 'Umbria, the green heart of Italy', the tourist advertisements said. What did that make Latium, he had wondered, the bilious liver?
Police Commissioner Aurelio Zen has crossed swords with the establishment before - and lost. But from the depths of a mundane desk job in Rome he is unexpectedly transferred to Perugia to take over an explosive kidnapping case involving one of Italy's most powerful families.
If you enjoyed the Inspector Zen Mystery series, you may also like The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, another crime novel by Michael Dibdin.
Italian police commissioner Aurelio Zen investigates the kidnapping of a Perugian industrialist. Winner of the Gold Dagger Award.
A joy to read
I enjoyed the tv series and the books were recommended by a friend. I holiday in Italy, especially Rome, so I enjoyed the settings and the plot.
Fantastically melancholy take on la Bella Italia
I read all the later "Zens" ages ago, but the early ones were always somehow eluding me. Took the opp with iBookstore to remedy this and was amazed at how vividly this first novel enriches everything in the subsequent "episodes". Zen is the perfect mix of Venetian ennui, displaced Romanitas, and bureaucracy-enervated cerebral action-hero. If one s in Italy, as I often am, one can map his exploits step for step across the beautiful and degraded landscapes he polices.
I can't recommend this series of novels highly enough!