Top critical review
A Tense Time in Sicily for Aurelio Zen
on June 18, 2012
"Blood Rain" is a novel in Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen mystery series, this time taking place in Sicily. Zen is sent there essentially to spy on the activities of an anti-Mafia squad, an elite corps that may be working without proper authorization in certain circumstances. Once there, he finds himself caught between several different groups of law enforcement officers and those on the other side of the law. His adopted daughter Carla is also in Sicily, assigned to install a new, integrated computer system for the anti-Mafia squad, and she attracts the attention of one of the judges working in the same department, a woman who is always under intense police protection because of the Mafia's propensity for knocking off judges. When Carla discovers that someone is infiltrating the new computer system even as she is installing it, she is not sure how to handle it or who to turn to for advice, but advice is something that she - and Zen - desperately needs.... I had previously read the first four Zen novels, but could not find the next two or three (even on Amazon!), so Carla is completely new to me and I found that not having read the entire series made a difference in how I viewed her and what happens to her. Aside from that problem, though, "Blood Rain" was an exciting and tense read, one that had me so worried at the end of it that I had to immediately search out the next book in the series in order to find out what happens next. Recommended - but definitely try to read the earlier books first!