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Dirty Tricks


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Dirty Tricks is a darkly humorous tale of sex and murder set amid the dreaming spires of Oxford by the author of the Inspector Zen Mystery series, Michael Dibdin.

About the Author

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 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


Dibdin's ( The Tryst ) fifth novel is a deliciously mean-spirited satirical tale of murder and betrayal. The unnamed narrator is a 40-year-old teacher of English as a second language, by his own description ``damaged goods . . . another over-educated, under-motivated loser.'' A sort of '60s throwback, he has reluctantly returned from stints abroad to a Thatcherized England, where chance throws him together with a well-to-do but hopelessly vulgar suburban couple. His affair with the wife proves his first step up the social ladder. As he climbs over the bodies around him, the book becomes a pointed, witty send-up of the new Tory brand of self-help, and the protagonist's clumsy ruthlessness a parody of free-market economics. On the final pages the whole thing comes together in a bleak, black joke on the era of neo-conservatism, in England and elsewhere. Dibdin's subtly inflected first-person narration is a marvel of controlled tone, with the narrator's snide, snobbish facade gradually dissolving into self-disgust until he marshals his emotional forces in the climax. A wickedly funny tour de force. (Sept.)

" Superb . . . . It' s just like James M. Cain, only funny. Come to think of it, maybe it' s more just like Nabokov. Only fun." --"The New York Times"" [A] superior piece of "noir," . . brisk, absorbing and . . . satisfying." --"The Sunday Times "" Nasty, original, murderously funny entertainment." --"The Independent"

These Dibdin thrillers date back to 1991 and 1989, respectively. Both feature murder, sex, and the usual good stuff. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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