‘A Long Finish’ by Michael Dibdin (Saturday 7th December – Thursday 12th December)
‘Blood Rain’ by Michael Dibdin (Friday 13th December – Sunday 15th December)
‘And Then You Die’ by Michael Dibdin (Sunday 15th December – Wednesday 18th December)
‘Medusa’ by Michael Dibdin (Thursday 19th December – Friday 27th December)
If 2013’s reading has a theme, it would have to be Zen books. Prompted by a combination of genuine enjoyment of the earlier instalments in the series, a need for light reading (which in my case nearly always means a detective novel) and not least the urgency brought on by impending library lending deadlines, December turned into a month entirely devoted to Aurelio Zen. Hence me renaming the month DeZenber. See what I did there?
I won’t go into detail regarding the plots of the various books, but I will say that through these stories, Zen cements himself as my favourite detective. I don’t think these are at quite the same level as some of the earlier books (I think ‘Dead Lagoon’ is probably the best) but they are still better than many of a similar ilk I have read.
The best thing about them is Zen’s character. I may well be repeating myself from earlier entries regarding the series, but Zen’s great quality is his normality. He doesn’t fit the stereotype and is all the better for it. He has human yearnings and tastes and they are satisfied in the books ,but rarely, if ever, as a major plot point. Instead he stumbles through life as we all do, accumulating good and bad experiences. He is morally questionable at times, whilst trying to do the right thing, and it doesn’t always work.
The more I read, the more I want an element of realism in the books and Zen has that. I know he doesn’t exist, but I believe that he could, and would be a decent guy to know.