This was a very "Italian" thriller. Set in Perugia, the story is centered on the kidnapping of a wealthy industrialist and his not so quite loving family. We are introduced to Aurelio Zen, a disgraced police investigator who was years back somewhat of a star at the kidnapping unit in Rome (Kidnapping being at that time, late 70's, somewhat of a every day occurrence in Italy) and was pushed to the sidelines after the Aldo Moro case. This is more a study of the way people in power act and how a society can become so corrupt it will go to any lengths to protect its privileges. Dibdin writes in a concise and clean style. We see the unfolding of the plot thru Zen's eyes with very few outside points of view. Did I like it? It was a very bleak and depressing view of humanity and quite dark spiritually but worth reading. I'll probably pick up the next one to read later in the year.