Michael Dibdin

British writer (1947-2007)

Michael Dibdin (21 March 1947 – 30 March 2007) was a British crime writer. Dibdin was born in Wolverhampton. His father was a physicist. From the age of seven, Dibdin lived in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where he attended the Friends' School. He graduated with a degree in English from Sussex University, and then went to study for a Master's degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. His first novel was based on the character Sherlock Holmes. He lived for four years in Italy, teaching at the university in Perugia. Dibdin is best known for his Aurelio Zen mysteries, set in Italy. The first of these, Ratking, won the 'Gold Dagger' award of 1988. This series of detective novels provide a penetrating insight into the less visible aspects of Italian society over the last 20 years. The earlier books have a lightness of touch that gradually becomes much darker. The character of Zen himself is anti-heroic, which adds much to the books' irony and black humour. A final Zen book, End Games, was published after Dibdin died, in July 2007. He also wrote other detective works set in America and in England.