Ratking (An Aurelio Zen Mystery) Paperback – April 29, 1997
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"In An Instant" by Suzanne Redfearn
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From the Publisher
"Tremendously exciting ... This is a novel both subtle and horrific."
And the praise doesn't stop there. Here's what people are saying about Michael Dibdin's work:
"Dibdin's work deserves comparison with such ... giants as Raymond Chandler."
-- Portland Oregonian
"Dibdin has an ear for prose that is rare in the crime genre ... His soaring imagination ... makes his books well worth the read."
-- Washington Times
"Dibdin has a gift for shocking the unshockable reader. He writes the unmentionable, calmly and with devastating effect."
-- Ruth Rendell
From the Inside Flap
Was Miletti truly the victim of professionals? Or might his kidnapper be someone closer to home: his preening son Daniele, with his million-lire wardrobe and his profitable drug business? His daughter, Cinzia, whose vapid beauty conceals a devastating secret? The perverse Silvio, or the eldest son Pietro, the unscrupulous fixer who manipulates the plots of others for his own ends? As Zen tries to unravel this rat's nest of family intrigue and official complicity, Michael Dibdin gives us one of his most accomplished thrillers, a chilling masterpiece of poli
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Paperback : 266 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679768548
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679768548
- Dimensions : 5.22 x 0.61 x 8.01 inches
- Publisher : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (April 29, 1997)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The "ratking" refers to a tangle of rats bound by their tails through circumstance that operates in a symbiotic manner in order to survive. Mr. Dibdin uses this analogy to explore not only the Miletti famly but Zen's entire world, his mother, girlfriend, fellow detectives, the political system, indeed the entire society in which he must live. If not for the worldly resignation of Zen and his lack of interest in his career this would be truly a rather too bleak world to bear or read about.
But it is Zen's perceptions and realism that keep driving him on and his own self-preservation. The psychological dimensions of the story are immense and yet do not get in the way a a tautly written murder mystery. The cast of characters is lush with villains, neurotics, freebooters, venal degenerates, incompetents, all living in a world of lush luxury.
While Zen himself is not total anti-hero and is truly misanthropic, he is an admirable realist or as Wycherley wrote, a "plain dealer. This is a thinking man's mystery.
But the local cops do everything they can to undermine him. The. Investigating magistrate wants to use Zen for his own political ends. Even the children of the victim refuse to cooperate with Zen or any other policeman. They're behaving so strangely, Zen wonders if they really want the old man back alive.
What I found interesting was how ineffectual Zen seemed through most of the book. Others get the better of him at every turn. He's anything but a superhero. Only when it seems too late does Zen show us he can be as crafty and tricky as his enemies.
I'm curious to see what Zen will be like in the next book, so I’ll be continuing with the series.
In this book, Perugia with its medieval walls and houses, ancient Etruscan and Roman stonework, climbing stairways and uphill roads makes an exotic setting.
The hero detective, Aurelio Zen, a man of integrity, is a cool character. Even with his slight flaws, he's not averse to a little white-lie or helping others in a conscious manner!
Did buy the DVD series, great local in Italy, Rufus Sewell driving fast cars, chasing gorgeous women, solving crime = better faster pace vs. book.
Top reviews from other countries
"Ratking" is the first in the collection and whilst there are similarities, the books (as usaul) provide a far more rounded and in depth analysis of the main charcters and the story in general.
I will admit to picturing Rufus Sewell as Aurelio Zen whilst reading, but this didn't spoil the story, if anything, his slightly hang-dog, world weary stoicism helped me picture the worlld he was inhabiting.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about Zen and the machinations of Italian politics and how it affects the policeman's daily lot.
Off to buy the next in the series.