A LONG FINISH by Michael Dibdin


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Just because Manlio Vincenzo is the prime (and only) suspect in the murder of his noted vintner father, there’s no reason to keep him locked up when he could be out of jail shepherding the family’s harvest to the classic year it seems destined for. At least that’s what an influential filmmaker thinks, and since one of the matters he can influence is Aurelio Zen’s next posting, Zen agrees to travel from Rome to the Piedmont to look for evidence that will exonerate Manlio. Even though Aldo Vincenzo was murdered in an exceptionally brutal way, and two more killings closely follow Zen’s arrival in Alba, no one he encounters acts unduly concerned by the violence. Tobacconist Minot Mandola seems less interested in the murders than in getting his share of the truffles that grow in the region; Zen’s fellow-guest Carla Arduini is trying to trace the father she never knew; an anonymous caller alternates between threatening Zen and feeding him cryptic clues to still another mystery; while Gianni and Maurizio Faigano, the Vincenzos’ downscale neighbors, delight in baiting Zen by pretending to accept his feeble disguises. Since Dibdin, though he’s producing a less sparkling vintage than Cosç Fan Tutti (1997), is still Dibdin, no one but Zen will be surprised that this relaxed atmosphere is helping conceal some long-buried secrets and a memorably extended game of was-it-this-one-or-that-one.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-375-40429-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Pantheon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998


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