Italian Police Detectives in fiction

What is about Italy that has lead to a spate of chronicles about policemen operating in the country? The ones I have heard of include Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen, Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti, Michele Giuttari’s Michele Ferrara and Andrea Camilleri’s Salvo Montalbano – the last of which I have never read but am quite anxious too and soon.

Zen was the first I came across, courtesy a second-hand edition of Cabal I found in the bylanes of CP in the summer of 2002 if I recall correctly. Unfortunately, along a couple of other books, it got lent to one of the most outwardly charming ingrates I ever have ever come across and  as expected, was never returned. However, I did remember it well enough and I guess it was 2005 or so, when I found Cabal again and some others in the estimable Bookworm, which is sadly no longer in existence.

Buying Cabal again, I was taken in with it so much though I guess it was one of the first I remember reading which does not end with a certainty or the ‘victory’ or even success for the protagonist – a common feature of traditional literature.

However, on discovering it was only the third of the series, I slowly started picking the others and asked the Bookworm staff to get the remaining, which they managed till I had all 10. I still do not remember the order in which I bought them or the order I read them. 

I managed to get End Games, the 11th in the series as soon as it came and began it but then came the trip to”Desert Paradise” and I forgot to take it with me. It was only two months when I returned did I begin reading it again.

Sadly it was the last in the series due to Dibdin’s death the same year…

The tall, brooding Zen has been a favourite of mine as he travels all over the distinct zones of Italy, trying to solve

To Be Continued….


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