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Vendetta Hardcover – November 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Corruption in high places, underworld skulduggery and a vendetta among mountainfolk are ingredients for murder in this literate, suspenseful thriller. An intruder guns down an eccentric Sardinian billionaire, his wife and two guests in his seemingly impregnable villa. Enter befuddled Venetian inspector Aurelio Zen, last encountered in Dibdin's Ratking. Zen, who has a perfunctory love life, a half-senile, bad-tempered mother and an intuitive faculty sometimes worthy of his name, now works for an Italian government ministry in Rome. He's dispatched to Sardinia to get the chief suspect, a politician's friend, off the hook. Two crazies want Zen rubbed out: a just-released convict whom he'd sent to jail years ago, and the killer, whose lyrical, half-mad ramblings punctuate the narrative--of course, the two could be the same person. Spinning a plot as convoluted as Sardinia's winding streets, Dibdin illuminates a deeply corrupted society and ultimately vindicates his hero, who outmaneuvers the supercops trying to silence him.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Aurelio Zen, the Italian Maigret, now working out of Rome's criminal investigation division, is assigned the Villa Burolo massacre--in which every member of the wealthy Burolo's house party died, with the scene captured on videotape (as were most of the activities at the villa)! While Zen ponders, someone lifts the videotape from his house and taunts him with notes. But it's only after Zen's superiors send him off to Sardinia to frame the ``murderer'' they have at hand that Zen draws the right connections between a recently slain magistrate, an informer, and the threats against himself--which tie in with the prison release of Vasco Ernesto Spadola. Waylaid in a ravine, Zen barely escapes Spadola- -before assigning the massacre murders to a complicated bit of demented revenge at the hands of a simple-minded woman. A multilayered tale in which Dibdin (Dirty Tricks, p. 970, etc.) juggles cynicism (in Italian officialdom, expediency wins the day--every time), humor (Zen's lust), and chagrin (Zen's relationship with his mother versus hers with her family of ``Auntie''-sitters). But the interspersing of the killer's thoughts is far too corny a ploy for a writer of Dibdin's skill. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
As in the first Zen mystery, the actual crime and its solution act as a compelling backdrop and springboard to Zen's real problems. In this case, his mother, his love life and his inability to fare well in the midst of the male society of the Criminalpol provide ample insight to an already enjoyable character of immense depth. The settings of Rome and Sardinia add glamour to the well-heeled image-conscious Italian populace which Dibdin allows us to view through Zen's accomplished and somewhat jaded eyes as he further immerses himself within the complex inner workings of Italian law enforcement.
Even thoughI read 'Cabal' and 'Dead Lagoon' before reading 'Ratking' and 'Vendetta', I would recommend reading the books in sequence so that the entire panorama of Zen's difficult life is laid out in front of you as it is intended. Zen's motivation become more understandable. When reading the books out of sequence,the reader has little information about Zen on which to fall back on and there is nothing but the mystery itself to fully engage the reader. Get the whole experience and start from number 1.
"Vendetta" is the second book in this series and the setting is Sardinia. A dinner party is interrupted when someone with a shotgun appears, and abruptly ends the evening's festivities. A man who said, "If anyone gets in, I will believe in ghosts", designed the security system. No ghost handles a shotgun, and after Italy's equivalent of SWAT Teams can find no way in, the enigma is set.
I have commented at length on why I find Mr. Dibdin to be such a talented writer when I reviewed his newest book "Blood Rain" and his first book "Ratking". I will not be totally repetitive, but I will note that one of the keys to enjoying this Author's work is his ability to sustain your interest with a variety of possible outcomes to the very end. His stories are constructed like a maze, and as Sardinia is a maze both above and below ground, the setting is perfect.
A very, very good series!
It is narrated by an Italian hero, Fabio Romani, who is accidentally buried alive (!) in the epidemic-ridden village. He somehow returns home, only to find that his wife has been unfaithful to him, having an affair with his best friend (!!). Using disguise, he comes back to take a revenge on them. It is obvious that the story is borrowed from authors like Dumas (remember "Count of Monte Cristo"), but its power is not lost even today. If you like this kind of melodrama, try it.
This finely-crafted novel ranks among the best of our era. Surpassing in suspense even the popular-market fiction of Michael Crichton or John Case, Dibdin's "Vendetta" reaches the highest stratum of literary excellence.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the mystery of it and found it perfect to distract me from the horrors of our coming administration.