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A Long Finish

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish (UK 2004)

From the Publisher:
After his adventures under sun-drenched Neapolitan skies in Cosi Fan Tutti, Aurelio Zen finds himself back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment: to release the jailed scion of an important wine-growing family who is accused of a brutal murder. Zen travels north to an Italy as outwardly serene as Naples was manic. Amid the quiet fields, autumnal skies and crumbling farmhouses of Piedmont, Zen must try to penetrate a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricably linked. Here secrets can last for generations, and have a finish as long and lingering as that of a good Barbaresco. Zen must also face up to mysteries from his own past, as well as grapple with the greed, envy, hatred and love that are the human components of any landscape.

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish. Faber & Faber; ISBN: 0571197191 (August, 2004), 384 p., £6.99

 

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A Long Finish

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish (USA 2000)

From the Publisher:
From the award-winning author of Ratking and Dead Lagoon comes a delicious new Aurelio Zen mystery in which wine and truffles figure as prominently as greed and vengence.

When the son of a Piedmontese wine-making family is jailed for killing his father, Aurelio Zen is ordered to secure his release. The reason: A certain well-connected wine connoisseur wants to make sure that this year's vintage goes to harvest.

In the hill town of Alba, Zen finds himself in the midst of a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricablt linked, bombarded with gossip, and stalked by a mysterious telephone caller with tantalizing clues to his past. He also discovers that certain meals may really be to die for. A Long Finish is Michael Dibdin at his most elegant and surprising.

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish. Vintage Books, ISBN: 0375704019 (February, 2000), 272 p., $13.95.

 

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A Long Finish

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish (UK 1999)

From the Publisher:
After his adventures in "Cosi Fan Tutti", Aurelio Zen finds himself back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment - to release the jailed scion of an important wine-growing family.

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish. Faber & Faber; ISBN: 0571197191 (April, 1999), 362 p., £5.99

 

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A Long Finish

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish (USA 1998)

From the Publisher:
Ratking, Vendetta, Cabal, Dead Lagoon, Così Fan Tutti -- in each of these masterfully suspenseful and atmospheric novels we have met Michael Dibdin's Italian Criminalpol officer Aurelio Zen. Intelligent and urbane (if a little weary), Zen galvanizes us not only with his ability to solve the most intractable crimes but also with his methodology. He is both devious and moral, a slave to the status quo and original in his thinking, amused by his own torpor and surprised by his drive. Now, in The Long Finish, he is driven by something new: a steely instinct for self-preservation coupled with a love of good food and wine.

After a riotous and heroic stint in Naples, Zen is back in Rome, meeting with a world-famous film director at the instruction of his superiors. In the privacy of a remarkably well stocked wine cellar, the director -- whose influence clearly reaches beyond the entertainment industry -- convinces Zen to arrange for the release of the scion of an important wine-growing family, who has been jailed for the murder of his own father. At stake for the director, a connoisseur of Piedmontese wines, is this year's vintage: only the jailed man can ensure the timely harvesting of his family's precious grapes. At stake for Zen: avoiding a posting to the dreaded Sicily.

In Alba -- an outwardly serene village set among rolling hills that are planted with vines for as far as the eye can see -- Zen discovers that only spilled blood can separate a family from its land. And though murder here is rare, it is complex. But at least it's accompanied by heaping plates of pasta, generous shavings of white truffles, and bottomless glasses of wine. If only Zen can keep his policing skills as sharp as his palate is pampered.

Michael Dibdin: A Long Finish. Pantheon Books, ISBN: 0375404295 (October, 1998), 261 p., $24.00.

 

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