And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen, #8)
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And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen #8)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  461 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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

174 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2002)
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Roderick Hart
In this, the eighth title in the Aurelio Zen series, our hero spots a T-shirt. On the front are the words ‘Life’s a Beach’, on the back ‘And Then You Die’. So this book takes its title from the back of a T-shirt.

The previous book in the series, Blood Rain, left several loose ends, most notably the cliff-hanger at the end which leaves the reader uncertain whether Zen has survived an explosion or not. These are tied up in this book where Zen, having spent several months recovering from his injurie...more
Having been the victim of a Mafia car bombing, Inspector Aurelio Zen is under protective custody, recuperating dejectedly at a seaside villa. Although he goes to the beach nearly every day, he's made only a single friend, Gemma, who's separated from her wealthy husband. One morning, an interloper has taken over Zen's reserved beach chair, but since the man's asleep, and Zen doesn't take such things personally, Zen obligingly finds an empty spot nearby. It's a habit that will save his life, for t...more
Rob Kitchin
And Then You Die is a novel of two halves. The first half is an enjoyable enough read. A little slow, but interesting enough, with some nice prose and observations, and solid characterization. The second half was very disappointing. The plot, which had been okay, suddenly becomes ridiculous. And rather than there just being one strange flaw, the rest of the book is full of them, compounding the problem (and the issues are not just small, niggly things, but crucial plot devices that are simply no...more
I am definitely a fan of Aurelio Zen, and this series is one of my very favorite among the mystery-set-in-Italy type. Zen is wonderfully
philosophical and the Italian background atmosphere is very well drawn.
Unlike some of the other Dibdin novels, though, there isn't as much plot in this and it is not typical. It's quite meditative since Aurelio has just returned after nearly being murdered and people - who could have been mistaken for the detective - are dying all around him.
And there is a new w...more
In this surprisingly funny follow on to the explosive ending of Blood Rain, Zen is hiding out at an exclusive Tuscan beach under an assumed identity, waiting to be called as a witness at a Mafia trial to be held in the US.

He is not excited about the trip as he has no desire to travel to anywhere that was not once part of the Roman Empire. He is enjoying his leisurely recovery from his injuries and the company of an attractive pharmacist whom he meets on the beach.

He is blissfully unaware of the...more
Very enjoyable. It read more like a segue between Blood Rain and Medusa, or maybe just a continuation of Blood Rain, than a stand alone mystery. It also had a darkly farcical aspect to it, which I found quite amusing. (I'm beginning to wonder about my sense of humor.)
I can see why some might consider this unsatisfactory...

Dennis Fischman
As the series goes on, it's less about finding out why people died and more about finding out how to live.
A rare, relatively happy book for Zen. The detour to Iceland is priceless.
Not my kind of book.

From cover:

"Aurelio Zen of Rome's elite Criminalpol is back-but nobody's supposed to know it. After months in the hospital healing from wounds sustained in a bomb attack on his car in Sicily, he is lying low under a false name at a beach resort on the Tuscan coast, waiting to testify in an imminent anti-Mafia trial. In the meantime, he has nothing to do but enjoy the orderly and undemanding world of a classic Italian beach holiday; spending his days in his assigned chair on a...more
William Hayes
Some readers have written that the flaws in Dottor Zen's character betoken his venality and, even further, his depravity. I feel otherwise, namely, that his flaws give evidence of his humanity. Witness these ruminations from early in the story:
He just didn't care about anything, that was the real and lasting effect of l'incidente, and one which looked as though it might well stay with him throughout his long, tedious, enforced retirement, a nagging ache that no amount of therapy, exercise or hob
Giving this four stars because at the moment I think I've enjoyed And Then You Die the most of the Zen series thus far. That said, don't read it unless you've read Blood Rain! The mystery here largely takes a back seat to some navel-gazing on Zen's part. This is actually quite enjoyable if you've been following the character through the previous seven books, but neither the mystery nor the navel-gazing will make much sense if you haven't "lived through" the events immediately preceding the book....more
OK this was a tricky one - I stumbled across the title in the charity shop and thought - why not give it a go. A friend raved about the Zen series and in the past a number of people have asked for Dibdin's work so here i was going it a go.
The book itself is very atmospheric for Italian life and society and the writing itself is easy to read and accessible but this is almost a missing section of the previous book. There are events and characters which are if not vital they are certainly referred...more
Zen has survived a bomb, his mother has died, and he is being, allegedly, kept safe out of the way in order to testify at a Mafia trial - but people keep dying around him (specifically, people who are sitting where he should have been sitting, etc.).

The novel is written in sections, which include an Icelandic episode (which was rather fun, even if it did take Zen well outside his usual sphere). Each episode ends with a crisis and somehow, unbelievably, each time he loves to tell the tale. He is...more
found this at a used book store, was drawn to the title. my first Aurelio Zen novel. very likeable character and writing style, the sense of humor hits home. "he had the the hands of a man who built walls or castrated horses."
Full of existential dislocations and narrative discontinuities, this mystery is almost an experimental instance of the genre, except in its conclusion, where Dibdin simply solves the mystery for the reader somewhat perfunctorily. The author's descriptive powers are still keen, but the main character mostly stagnates, as he's shuttled from one locale to another to avoid Mafia hitmen while he awaits the trial where he will testify against a Mafia boss. The principle pleasure of this series is the...more
Janet Martin
A placeholder in the series, but still a fine read.
Les Wilson
The best Aurelio Zen book I have read so far.
If the Italian politicians are as corrupt as the book implies then no wonder Italian bond ratings are under pressure. Furthermore, the legal system as portrayed does not give one great comfort in the ability to receive a fair and just trial. This story offers a different twist on mystery writing. However, Aurelio Zen's survival appears to rely too much on luck and not enough on competence.
An atypical outing for Aurelio Zen: he's supposed to be in hiding, unnoticed, recovering and vacationing. Zen *never* gets that lucky, and the reason hearkens back to the previous book's killer ending. But really, can Zen stay unoccupied for long - ? If only because there are beautiful women around? You know the answer, and what he gets up to is a good yarn. Dig in.
Jan Aldergate
I had never read any Aurelio Zen mysteries but I was glad that I picked this up in a library book sale, so didn't pay much for it. Nothing happened, there wasn't even a mystery, and for most of the book I was confused as to what was going on. It kept referring back to previous books, and in the end I didn't really care anymore.
Aug 25, 2008 Kirsti rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in Italy and corruption
Recommended to Kirsti by: Marguerite
Shelves: fiction, mayhem, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kay Robart
In all, the plot seemed very unfocused, with Zen wandering all over the place. I honestly felt as if Dibdin was not putting much effort into this novel.

See my complete review here:
Aurelio Zen, an Italian detective, is on the run from the Mafia, against whom he is about to testify. Someone is murdered in Aurelio's place on the beach (thus the title). Good food, Italian lifestyle and a good quick mystery.
This was a short quick read, number 8 in the Zen series. Some typical funny dialogue and character development. I enjoyed this as it was more of finding oneself excercise for Zen in addition to his professional difficulties.
It's short and strange, but I'm a Aurelio Zen fan and didn't think there would be any more novels (Dibdin sadly passed away), so I found it worth reading. Other Zen novels would be far preferable for the novice.
Jan C
Mar 15, 2010 Jan C rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like corruption stories
Recommended to Jan C by: Kirsti
Shelves: italy, mystery
My first Aurelio Zen. Are they all like this?

Kind of on the strange side. But interesting.

I'd read more of these. But I don't think I often see them.

Good Italian corruption tale though.
Catherine Kesseler
I really enjoyed this Aurelio Zen mystery. I found it less dark than the previous 7 novels. It was also the shortest of the novels so far. Most of the action takes place outside of Rome.
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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
More about Michael Dibdin...
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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