Back to Bologna – Michael Dibdin

This most recent Aurelio Zen mystery proved a bit of a disappointment. I’ve missed out on Medusa, the novel that covers events between And then you die and Back to Bologna, which turn out to have been pretty key in relation to Zen’s romantic life. I dislike reading things in the wrong order – it spoils my enjoyment of the discovery of what happens in the book I’ve missed out.

Another aspect of Back to Bologna which irked me was the cast of 21st century stereotypes: celebrity chef, rich kid football hooligan, illegal economic migrant, oligarchical football club owner. It felt like I was reading reportage in Grazia or Hello, “with the names changed to protect the innocent”. And Zen didn’t seem to contribute much to the final outcome; in fact he did’t appear to do much apart from mope about his failing love life.

Buy it: Amazon link