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Michael Dibdin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Aurelio Zen Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Rich Full Death (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tryst (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dirty Tricks (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dying of the Light (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Spectre (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thanksgiving (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Picador Book of Crime Writing(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vintage Book of Classic Crime(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Michael Dibdin was one of the acclaimed authors from the UK, who liked to write crime fiction, mystery, and thriller novels. He was particularly famous for creating the character of Aurelio Zen. Apart from writing the crime fiction books featuring this character, he also penned several standalone books in his writing career. Aurelio Zen’s character was set mainly in Italy by Dibdin, while most of his other works were set in England and the States. Throughout the course of his career, author Dibdin wrote a total of 18 books, 11 of which were a part of the Aurelio Zen series. The remaining 7 books were either standalone novels or other works. Author Dibdin was born on March 21, 1947. His birth had taken place in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Dibdin’s father was a physicist. After living for a period of 7 years in Wolverhampton since his birth, author Dibdin changed places along with his family and lived in different places. He was mainly brought up in Lisburn, North Ireland. Author Dibdin completed his school education from the Friends’ School in Lisburn, which was a voluntary grammar school of Quaker. Dibdin went on to complete his graduation degree from the Sussex University in the subject of English Literature. Later, he joined the Alberta University in Edmonton, Canada and earned his Masters’ degree. Until his graduation, author Dibdin had lived in various places such as Middlesex, Northern Ireland, Italy, Seattle, and Edmonton. His final place of residence was Seattle. Author Dibdin started his writing career in the year 1978 and completed his first book, titled as The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in the same year. While writing this book, Dibdin was living in Italy. He spent a total of 4 years residing in Italy. During the course of his stay, he was also involved in teaching English at the Perugia University for some time. Author Dibdin is best remembered for his excellent depiction of Aurelio Zen as the lead character in the series of the same name. The first book of this series won the Gold Dagger Award in the year 1988. The special feature of the detective novels of the series is that they give penetrating insights into the lesser visible aspects of the Italian society that have taken place over a period of the last twenty years. The initial books show a touch of lightness that goes on to become darker as the series progresses.

Dibdin has described Aurelio Zen as an anti-hero, which also adds to the black humor and irony of the books. The final book in this bestselling series, End Games, was published posthumously in 2007. The other detective fiction works of author Dibdin are set in the US and England. Author Dibdin entered into marriage for 3 times in total. Her last marriage was with the popular novelist named K.K. Beck. Dibdin’s death occurred in Seattle on March 30, 2007, due to illness. The character of Zen appears to be emotional and erratic. He is middle aged and appears a little bit jaded. Zen has been serving for a long time in State Police, having acquired a senior position. Zen does feel afraid of employing downright underhanded or radical methods while solving the cases. He always struggles to fulfill the demands of the tough job, his girlfriend, and his mother. On certain occasions, Zen accepts the assignments just to escape from the domestic pressures. All in all, Zen tries to keep his heart at the right place and tries as best as he can to bring out sense from the things that confront him. The book series was optioned to make 3 feature length dramas by the Left Bank Pictures and BBC Scotland. The first of the 3 dramas was filmed in Rome and featured the English actor named Rufus Sewell and Italian actress named Caterina Murino in the lead roles.

The debut novel written by Michael Dibdin in the Aurelio Zen series is entitled ‘Ratking’. It was released in 1997 by the Black Lizard publication, after its first release in 1988. At the start of the book, author Dibdin has shown a psychological suspense in which Aurelio Zen is asked to investigate the abduction of a powerful industrialist from Perugia named Ruggiero Miletti. Zen feels that no one wants him to succeed in this case. Even the local authorities see him more of an interloper. The children on Miletti also don’t want the abductors to release him. Aurelio Zen wonders whether the Miletti’s kidnapping was the job of professionals or whether someone close to him as carried out this criminal act. Zen suspects Miletti’s son Daniele, his daughter Cinzia, and his other children Pietro and Silvio. Daniele runs drug business, Cinzia hides a devastating secret behind her vapid beauty, and Pietro always manipulates others to his own benefits. And as Aurelio Zen tries to unravel the suspense next of official complicity and family intrigue, he comes across devastating facts and truths. The thrilling plot of the story makes it a chilling masterpiece and gives an in depth account of psychological suspense and police procedural.

Another well written book of this series is titled as ‘Dead Lagoon’. It was released in 1996 by the Vintage Crime publication. Author Dibdin has set this story in Venice, Italy. At the beginning of this book, Dibdin has given a delicious yet creepy description in which the skeptical Aurelio Zen is given the task of combating crime. What makes his task even more difficult is that the country is full of people with changing loyalties and the superiors of today might become of the defendants of tomorrow. Returning to his native place in Venice, Aurelio Zen is in search of the ones who tormented a Contessa. He is also looking for a disappeared millionaire from America, who family has paid Aurelio Zen a handsome amount to locate his whereabouts, alive or dead. During his search, Zen continuously stumbles over distressingly concrete corpses. He finds a crooked cop drowned in the black well of the city and a skeleton that is found from the ‘Isle of Dead’. The resulting investigation turns out to be a rich description of deduction and character that gives intense information about the politics, manners, and history of the Venetian setting. The book was highly appreciated and praised by the critics. It was also liked by the readers all over the world. Author Dibdin received numerous positive reviews for his dedicated work in bringing out this excellent novel. Such reviews helped him to gain a lot of success in his novelist career. Dibdin was motivated to pen many more interesting novels later in his career.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michael Dibdin

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