Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Norther n Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lives 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 Ratking in 1988, which won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year and introduced us to his Italian detective - Inspector Aurelio Zen. In 1989 The Tryst was published to great acclaim and was followed by Vendetta in 1990, the second story in the Zen series. Dirty Tricks was published in 1991. Inspector Zen made his third appearance in Cabal, which was published in 1992. The Dying of the Light, an Agatha Christie pastiche, was published in 1993. His fourth Zen novel, Dead Lagoon, was published the follow
In Dibdin's eighth diverting mystery to feature Aurelio Zen of Rome's elite Criminalpol unit, the hard-to-kill detective is still recuperating from his last adventure, Blood Rain (2000), which left him with a collapsed lung, broken ribs and various minor injuries. Zen has been given a new identity and use of a beachfront home in Versilia, a Tuscan coast resort town, while he awaits the beginning of a Mafia trial in America"a trial where he's supposed to be a surprise, and key, witness. Dibdin's wry humor is perfect for Zen's diffident approach as he stirs himself to rejoin the living, even attempting a casual beach flirtation. Zen's enforced idleness chafes, then evaporates as people too near him begin to die and the new strategies developed to conceal him seem to have (almost) fatal flaws. Dislocations and relocations send Zen to a prison island and then on an abortive journey to America with an unexpected and comical detour. More than one terrible fate may be in store for Zen even if he survives the repeated attempts on his life: being forced to retire or shunted off into some harmless bureaucratic niche to molder away. This is a slight, but enjoyable morsel of a book"easily devoured but with subtle flavorings that linger pleasurably. Zen's casual demeanor masks a shrewd mind, one that readers should enjoy seeing return to action. (May 28) FYI: Dibdin is also the author of seven mystery novels, including The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, not part of the Aurelio Zen series. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.