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Blood Rain The discovery of an unidentified decomposed corpse in a railway wagon marks the beginning of Zen's most difficult and dangerous case Set against the backdrop of the 3000 year old city of Catalina in the shadow of Mount Etna Blood Rain finds Aurelio Zen at his most desperate and driven

  • Paperback
  • 284 pages
  • Blood Rain
  • Michael Dibdin
  • English
  • 10 October 2016
  • 9780571202881

About the Author: Michael Dibdin

K K Beck His death in 2007 followed a short illnessSeries



10 thoughts on “Blood Rain

  1. Roderick Hart Roderick Hart says:

    This is the seventh in the series of novels featuring Aurelio Zen a detective from Venice Each novel finds Zen in a different part of Italy in this case Sicily As might be expected the Mafia features here But the Mafia as described in the book is not so much a single organisation as a group of competing families or clans who communicate with each other by messages Sometimes these messages seem to be clear – for example cutting a leg off the competition with a chainsaw and delivering it direct to their doorstep There are two problems with this The first is being sure you know who is actually sending the message is it who you would expect or someone else trying to dupe you into thinking it is who you would expect? The second problem is working out what the message really means which is hard enough anyway but twice as hard if you aren’t sure who sent it This novel is unusually full of messages and because Zen isn’t a native of Sicily he is by his usual standards unusually inept in detecting and interpreting them This places him in great danger from which he is rescued by others or by accident On one occasion he is rescued by football fans and on another by an earthuake which begins at exactly the right time to deter his attackers How likely is that? The book ends with an explosion another message and but for the fact that there are four books in the series it isn’t at all clear that Zen survives itThe book has Dibden’s usual virtues It is beautifully written with some excellent descriptions of scene and character The plot is complex but perhaps overly subtle there is so much that Zen doesn’t fully understand that the same goes for the reader The mood is also unusually sombre given two deaths half way through which affect him personally

  2. raneeeemmm raneeeemmm says:

    this book was so damn boring I seriously couldn't wait to get rid of it

  3. Joe Joe says:

    This is the seventh adventure of Aurelio Zen – a middle aged Roman police investigator Zen is a “world weary” loner nestled within Italian corruption and fighting crime with a knack of finding himself at the wrong place at the wrong time during his investigations He’s not so much brave and courageous as obsessively curious his moral code preventing him from letting wrong doing sleeping dogs lie The books in this series are psychologically driven rather than action thrillers and because of this may not be everyone’s cup of tea Lengthy descriptions and digressions abound combined with an insider’s view of the seamier side of Italian society The writing is excellent and I thoroughly enjoy these booksIn this volume Zen has been transferred to Sicily to act as a “liaison” between the Italian police and the mafia task force based there – his duties somewhat nebulous and the move definitely not a promotion The good news is that his newly adopted adult daughter – another story in and of itself – is also there working to install a computer system for the task force Said daughter soon stumbles across some nefarious computer activity tells her father about it and Zen being Zen – he soon finds himself sucked into the mafia world with all of its corruption and deadly turf battlesThere are a multitude of twists turns and betrayals here and simply identifying who the good and bad guys are becomes Zen’s main problem with even the conclusion of this book providing no clear answer If you’re looking for a “police procedural” series which is a tad bit different and with an Italian flavor to it – you won’t go wrong here Although not absolutely necessary – these books do stand on their own – I would strongly recommend reading them in chronological order to truly appreciate the developing story and evolution of Aurelio Zen Because in a sense the series is a “serial”

  4. Dianne Dianne says:

    One of Dibdin's bestSet in Sicily featuring Aurelio Zen The first half concentrates on judge Corinna Nunziatelli who has a couple of cases involving the Mafia and Aurelio Zen's 'daughter' Carla Arduini setting up a police computer system What's at issue is clear some one is trying to start a Mafia war A capo's sons has been killed in a most appalling fashion under circumstances pointing to the Corleone family Indications suggest Rome and the carabinieri are somehow implicated possibly high level politicians After the assassination of Corinna and Carla Zen is in danger and all action focuses on himThe plot is intricate but the ending is a little contrived as it takes an earthuake to extricate Zen from a very dangerous situationThe writing is excellent and there are some very very funny episodes particular appealing to British readers

  5. Angie Rhodes Angie Rhodes says:

    Michael Dibdin writes some extremely good detective novels this one set against the backdrop of the three thousand year old city Of Catania Blood Rain is anexciting thriller A decomposing body has been found sealed in a railway wagon is the beginning of a dangerous case for the enigmatic Detective Aurelio Zen This is book seven in Dibdin's Zen books but is a stand alone book as most of them are If you have never read any you are missing out

  6. Lukasz Pruski Lukasz Pruski says:

    The dualistic northern approach to life is completely alien to the Sicilian mind So far from there being just two possibilities there are in any given case an almost infinite numberMichael Dibdin's Blood Rain 1999 is a part crime drama part thriller that perceptively portrays the Sicilian mentality or I should rather say the stereotype of Sicilian mentality The blurbs on the cover of the novel scream Spellbinding superb The Washington Post Dibdin whose prose is as startlingly clever as his plot stretches the existential suspense through to the final page The Wall Street Journal I beg to differ the phrases superb and clever plot are totally misused This is my seventh Italian crime drama in the Zen series by Dibdin and it barely rises above the level of the totally lame and ridiculous Cabal On the other hand I uite like the other five Zen novels that I review on GoodreadsInspector Aurelio Zen unambitious and deeply compromised has now been posted to Catania Sicily ostensibly to work on smashing the Mafia once and for all The author clearly suggests that this is just a pretend appointment and like virtually all police type jobs in Italy his posting as a liaison officer between the Catania office and Rome headuarters is just a sham personnel move and Zen is just supposed to pretend he is fighting the Mafia Zen's adopted daughter Carla a computer expert also happens to be in Catania working on setting up a computer network for the local Palace of Justice; she is trying to find the back door entry to the system that causes leaks of sensitive information We also meet Corinna Nunziatella the local judge who befriends Carla and the two women are young enough to seem to believe that the fight against the Mafia clans makes senseThe first half of the novel is totally unfocused and wanders aimlessly from a thread to a thread from a possible main topic to another one All of a sudden several dramatic events conveniently happen and Mr Dibdin finally makes a decision what he wants to write about The novel mutates into a standard thriller characterized by breakneck pace and little logic other than that things are different than they look like Since it is of course true that nothing is ever like it seems the silly Third Level stuff invoked by the author is also only a delusion like all the misconstructions of various conspiracy theories Whole lotta blah blah blah The only part of the plot that I really like is the explosive endingWhile in my eyes Blood Rain fails as a crimethriller novel it seems to redeem itself as a novel about Sicily Here's a nice highlight as a sample Mr Dibdin writes about a fish market on the Sicilian coast that has been in the same place for about 3000 years Also one is impressed with the author clearly explaining the phony nature of Italian war against the Mafia and how it is that the so called bad guys usually win They do because fighting them for real would be a greater inconvenience than tolerating them Also in some ways the bad guys are just like usIn several of my previous reviews of Mr Dibdin's novels I noticed his peculiar preoccupation with human excreta In this book in addition to mentioning flatulence and defecation the author widens his scatophilic range to include other species he writes about piles of dog turds the size of a meal and the color of vomit We are also offered truly original references to feeling like eating the breast of a pregnant woman and chewing on penises of dead boys Maybe the author thought these literary devices would emphasize the brutal and deeply cynical tone of the novel? I am probably just dull witted but I find these fragments pathetic One and three uarter stars

  7. Avadhut Avadhut says:

    Montalbano piued my interest in Italian crime series I started looking for good Italian mysteries and the name that kept cropping up at every corner was Aurelio Zen by Michael Dibdin So I jumped into middle of the series with Blood Rain Right from beginning I took a liking to the book Dibdin writes in that half cynical half mocking style that is my favourite Zen is cast from the same mould as my other favourite detectives cynical with a wry sense of humour one who knows the futility of his job but has a built in compass that always points towards justice even though he is well aware how frustrating it can be to obtain justice for his victims in a corrupt societyThe book starts with murder of local mafia don’s son Zen’s new posting is in Catania Sicily His job is to liaise between different police departments a polite way of saying that his real job is to spy on anti mafia suad on behalf of his masters in Rome He is also getting to know his adopted daughter Carla Carla ends up on mafia’s radar as she is installing computer network in anti mafia suad’s office and befriends Judge Corinna Nunziatelli who is investigating the murder Soon this treacherous game of deception and lies engulfs Zen Being a northerner he is out of his depth in Sicily where warring mafia factions and their various supporters in government make it a tough job to identify who is really on which sideReading this book in the middle of the Great Indian charade that is called General Elections where almost one third of parliamentary candidates fielded by major Indian political parties face criminal cases murder extortion kidnapping you name it gave me a sense of Déjà vu It was as if Didbin was talking about northern badlands of India when he described Sicily’s mafia culture The distinction between police mafia and politicians is permanently blurred just like in India Interests of many sides crisscross each other in such a complicated manner it is impossible to remain on sidelines Zen is caught in the crossfire becomes fugitive and it takes all his wit and courage and some luck to survive Just when we think Zen has finally managed to come out of the mess there is another attempt on his life Didbin ends the book leaving Zen’s fate unanswered thus highlighting how anybody can end up being a pawn in someone else’s power gameBlood Rain has added one series on my TBR pile and I am definitely going to read the series from beginning now

  8. Michael Colligan Michael Colligan says:

    There are a number of police detective novels set in Italy and all contain some element of social comment on the day to day bizzareness of Italian life Michael Dibdin began this book with a chapter that has to be the funniest story about a short trip by freight train ever written which at the same explains a lot about Sicily and whyeven by Italian standards the triangular island is very strangeIn justice the story is only so so thereafter and includes some fairly meandering elements which is why it has not gotten better marks The book also steadily gets darker page by page in the last third of the storyWell researched well written and if you like Inspectore Zen worth it

  9. Dianne Dianne says:

    I come away from reading these books feeling that I have some insight into italian culture and daily life they are super What a great pity there will be no to look forward to once I have finished this series I am savouring these books just as I do the Shardlake series I have also revised my view of the Euro what a great pity we dont have Lire Francs Marks Pasetas and all the other 'lost' financial representations of European culture Why did we ever believe we could become unify such a disparate group of nations with one currency This series is so thoroughly interesting well written and entertaining I would recommend to anyone who likes crime mixed with cultural slant

  10. Mary Josefina Cade Mary Josefina Cade says:

    How much I appreciate the craziness of Aurelio Zen His wild intuitive nature is on full display in 'Blood Rain' I absolutely loved this book despite all the difficult events that occurred Michael Dibdin is or sadly was a writing wizard conjuring the city of Catania up around me with his perfectly chosen words I've never been there but the images of the volcanic rock the dark buildings have stayed with me as a memoryThe story is deeply felt and passionately told Zen goes right out on the edge I kept reading and reading receiving shocks on the way I cannot say in case I reveal too much Highly recommendedAnd highly recommended again

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