An Aurelio Zen mystery. After his adventures under sun-drenched Neapolitan skies in "Cosi Fan Tutti", Zen is back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment: to release the gaoled scion of an important wine-growing family who is accused of a brutal murder.
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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 out: Zen is to go instead to Piedmont, where the murder of a noted winemaker--apparently by his son and heir--threatens the future of one of the film director's favourite vintages. Even though Zen is a Venetian by birth and drinks "fruity, fresh vino sfuso from the Friuli intended to be consumed within the year", as the director sarcastically notes, he can still see how important the case can be to his future--especially if it keeps him away from deadly Sicily. Not only wine but also truffles are involved in a growing series of murders in the area around Alba, and Michael Dibdin (an English writer who lives in Seattle but must spend lots of time in Italy) once again manages to capture the heart, soul and stomach of the region. Zen, whose personal life is gradually revealed and expanded in each book in the series, finds out several surprising things about being a father in this one. Previous Zen titles include Cosi Fan Tutti, Dead Lagoon, Ratking and Vendetta. -- Dick AdlerReview:
"Once again, Dibdin delivers unforgettable characters in a tightly woven plot." --"The Globe and Mail ""Dibdin has a gift for shocking the unshockable reader. He writes the unmentionable, calmly and with devastating effect." --Ruth Rendell
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