And Then You Die

And Then You Die

An Aurelio Zen Mystery

Book - 2002
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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 well-managed strip of pale sand, eating splendid seafood, and engaging in a mild flirtation with the attractive woman sitting under the next umbrella. Until he notices that an inordinate number of people--each of whom might have been mistaken for Zen himself--have been dropping dead around him. Now it seems to be just a matter of time before the Mafia manage to finish the job they bungled months before on a lonely Sicilian road. But though Zen has been out of commission for months, he hasn't lost any of his highly developed, legendary abilities to navigate treacherous waters. When he finds himself suddenly back in action, he begins to feel more alive than he has since the moments before he was almost dead, which might help keep him from being almost dead--or worse--yet again. In And Then You Die, Michael Dibdin has given us a suspenseful, sharply funny new chapter in the always unexpected and uncommonly entertaining saga of Aurelio Zen.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, c2002
ISBN: 9780375421884
0375421882
Characteristics: 183 p. ; 24 cm

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tjdickey
Jun 14, 2017

The secret to Aurelio Zen's success, we learn in the eighth installment of the series, is that he doesn't seem like a detective. The secret to author Michael Dibdin's success is the novels do not seem like action thrillers. Indeed, some parts of "And Then You Die" read more like a Coen Brothers film (maybe even with hints of Inspector Clouseau) than an Italian noir thriller.

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kmoyer
Sep 18, 2011

It’s easy to see why this novel won a Gold Dagger award and I really enjoyed the mystery, perhaps partially from having recently seen the BBC TV series, was able to picture the main character easily and feel the melancholy of his new circumstances. I found the only drawback was the sequence near the end when loose ends were getting resolved - it was very good at increasing the tension to begin with, but felt it went slightly too far in the ‘odd coincidences’, near catastrophes etc. which Zen managed to escape by the skin of his teeth. It did intriguingly set the potential storyline for the next installment. Very funny to read about ‘Italian’ prejudices and views on life.

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