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A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen, #6)
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A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen #6)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  590 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Fresh from the successful investigation of a series of crimes in Naples, that admirably devious and dour Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen returns to his office in Rome to discover that a new set of bureaucrats is in power--with plans to punish him for his success by sending to him Sicily to fight the Mafia. Fate, in the form of a powerful film director, offers a way ou ...more
Published (first published August 25th 1998)
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This is the only one of Dibdin's books I've read. Definitely has its points. The characterization is very uneven, but can be very good (Dr. Lucchese) and even brilliant (Minot). The style is good and mostly engaging, thought sometimes he strains a bit too hard for intellectual stature even at the stylistic level. The portrayal of Italy is fascinating.

But these are on the surface--which is enough for the critics. Underneath, it adds up to a good deal less than a run-of-the-mill pulp mystery. The
As ever, and with sadness, Dibden satisfies on so many levels that I hardly know how to express the sharp and bittersweet pleasures of being with Aurelio Zen as he fails in one relationship after another, misjudges a serial murder case, and fights to avoid ending up in Mafia territory because he's the essential coward we all know hides inside us.

The sadness comes from knowing that Dibden will never give us another Zen novel, and that Aurelio's failures and escapes, brilliant stratagems and hast
After the disturbing personal shocks in Naples, Zen is sent from Rome to Piedmont to find evidence that will acquit the son of a local vintner convicted of murdering his father. A famous film director is concerned about the fate of the wine from the victim's vineyard in what is presumed to be an outstanding year.

The plot is complicated; the hostilities leading to the murder date back to the War - Partisans versus Fascists. There is a lot of fascinating local color dealing with the local truffle
Excellent book perhaps the best yet of the Zen series. Zen is far from perfect but he does have some redeeming qualities so amid the corruption that riddles Italian society Zen struggles through with his own moral compass. What I like are the gentle unveiling of his character set in various locations across Italy. He uses a range of skills and deceptions to get his man, he takes us on this journey since our growing knowledge about him is mirrored in his own self discovery. He commands respect th ...more
Why do I keep reading these books that I DON'T like? Ugggh!

From cover:

"In Italian Criminalpol officer Aurelio Zen, Michael Dibdin has given the mystery one of its most intriguing protagonists: a man wearily trying to enforce the law in a society where the law is constantly being bent. Case in point: When the son of a Piedmontese wine-making family is jailed for killing his father, Zen is ordered to secure his release. The reason: A certain well-connected connoisseur wants to make sure that this
Michael Dibdin has written several Aurelio Zen mysteries, and this one is yet another encounter with strange situations and even stranger characters. An Italian police detective, Zen is generally at odds with his superiors and suffering some kind of punishment for it, but he always gets the job done.

In this offering, there's an especially nasty murder of a renowned vintner in the Piedmont area of Italy, and Zen accepts a private contract to solve it. The reasons behind that are bizarre enough, b
Love Dibdin's books ever since I read "The Lasts Sherlock Holmes" novel. Saw first three Zen books on a TV series and was hooked. This one doesn't fail. The Author keeps you on edge from start to finish. Getting reading to listen to "Blood Rain".
My favorite Michael Dibdin, so far. It involves truffles and wine and inbred Italian families.
All of his mysteries begin "in medias res," describing a scene (or scenes) whose relevance is sometimes far from obvious. I often have to go back and skim the beginning, once I have gotten interested in the characters and begun to figure out what's going on. This can be irritating, but in this case, it wasn't too laborious, and I began to figure things out much faster. Either he did a better job here, o
my second Aurelio Zen novel in so many days and it has certainly added to my admiration for Michael Dibdin. The characters are all drawn so well and their foibles are not just interesting but also believable. This is a detective who is real.
I'm back 'on' Aurilio Zen...! I DID really like Zen in this w/o so much bureaucratic play out.. and the background on wine and northern Italy was first rate.
Lisbeth Solberg
Who lent me this book? I enjoyed it. Viniculture facts + tangled lineages + multiple murders = engrossing mystery.
I did not like this book. Reading through this series I find that Dibdin moves from influence to influence as he plays with different styles. In this novel the hero reminds me of Inspector 'Cluseau' (I am not sure of the spelling) of the Pink Panther films. I have spotted Agatha Christie and John Buchan in two previous books as well as the noirish Dead Lagoon and the comic opera Cosi Fan Tutti. I would have given it one star but there are aspects of the story which are interesting, and if Zen ...more
Emily Burke
Purple prose alert! Truly award winning author? Not based on this book. Won't seek out others.
Read mostly on planes, and this was a good page-turner.
Thomas Leffers
I enjoyed all the books in the series, very good.
Les Wilson
So far Dibdin is not impressing me!
Janet Martin
Few people can execute a mystery as does Dibdin! Aurelio Zen is a flawed genius--funny, conniving, yet still likeable, in part due to his innate sense of honor. I also enjoy the way this series has moved around Italy, and this book, set in truffle country in the far north, reminds me of life in any smaller community that has enjoyed a relatively stable population for generations. A convoluted plot with twists and turns that still remain believable. As always, the title has multiple meanings. One ...more
Dave Johnson
Re-read this some years after a friend recommended it. Now much more familiar with Zen (and re-reading the whole series in sequence) Especially enjoyed it as its location reminded me of another area of Northern Italy I now know quite well. I love the way Dibdin uses the stories to get under the skin of the different regions of Italy while also showing the similarities - Italian bureaucracy and corruption. One of my favourites in an excellent series
Ah, but I love seeing Aurelio Zen back in Rome, where he should be. And dining well, something that is a bit more iffy in Naples, where he'd lately been dispatched as punishment for being effective in an impolitic way. He's still his charming self and wearing his beautifully fitted suits while setting situations on their ears, this time mixing with the Italian film industry as well as a mystery. A good romp. Perfetto!
I just read this book again on a flight to Mexico. I liked it the second time I read it and finding more wrinkles in the plot. Aurelio Zen is quite the detective, but this story does not necessarily focus on him. It's also structured in a way that you know whodunit early in the book. I do enjoy the way Dibdin seems to really get the mood and character of a town or region in Italy. Really a quality mystery.
Stayed up late to finish this one. At times I don't get on terribly well with Michael Kitchen, but then he gets it just right. Zen in Piedmont is a real treat - wish I could try the wine and the white truffles.
Howie Dodds
Having watched on tv and enjoyed I picked up the book and this was my introduction to Zen in books. This book is particularly good and the author captures the atmosphere really well, plus you find out a few things about wine-making you were not aware of. I'm going to read the whole series as I've read a second one too and enjoyed it just as much. But this is a good intro to Zen in book form.
Another solid Zen mystery - although quite a change of pace after Cosi Fan Tutti - I have to say my main impression from this book was one of reading 40 or 50 pages and then feeling the need for a bowl of pasta or a glass of wine
Todd Moore
Okay, this is my newest favorite mystery writer and I can't wait to find more. Thoroughly likable main character. This one, which takes place in an Italian vineyard is hysterical. And SO Italian. One of the main suspects is released because this is a very promising year for the vineyard where he works. And he's the only one who run it.
Kay Robart
Aurelio Zen seems dreamy and unfocused in this mystery about who killed a noted winemaker. The truth may lie in the events of World War II. I felt a bit as if Dibdin was trifling with me while I read this novel, but I couldn't put my finger on why.

See my complete review here:
Comparisons to Inspector Clouseau (sp?) are apt. I sort of did and sort of didn't like this Audio book. Michael Kitchen's phrasing was off-putting at times. The story was enjoyable during the wine sequences, but gives a very depressing impression of Italy and is not very flattering when it comes to its protagonist either.
Aurelio Zen starts out with a great deal of mental angst and a bad cold. I think the author was perhaps in a similar fugue. Sections were nicely written. It certainly establishes a nice sense of place. Learning a bit about truffle hunting and wine in context was nice, but this story line was all a bit too choppy and messy.
Zen as ever is fascinating and unconventional. Italy (wine and truffles, and memories of the resistance, in this novel) without sentimentality. A particularly gruesome ending which I didn't care for much, even if there was an element of justice being done about it, and some rather strange decisions on the part of Zen.
Read this because our Aloha Wine Club decided to taste wines from the Piedmont region of Italy. A lot of references to previous story lines involving Aurelio Zen, the main character, so it was a bit hard for me to follow, but there's some interesting tidbits about the wine regions, truffle hunting, and dogs.
False Millennium
Not one of my favorites. Like other Dibdin Zen novels, this one takes place in a specific area of Italy, and he focuses in on the cutural differences: food, wine, speech, habits. I've got one left to read, and since Dibdin is deceased, "that" as they say, "is that."
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Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratki ...more
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The Last Sherlock Holmes Story Ratking (Aurelio Zen, #1) Dead Lagoon (Aurelio Zen, #4) Vendetta (Aurelio Zen, #2) Cabal (Aurelio Zen, #3)

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