Ratking Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ratking

It has been more than four months since Italian construction magnate Ruggiero Miletti was kidnapped. The family paid 10 billion lira for his release, but the kidnappers didn't let him go. It is now the early spring of 1982, and Miletti's card-playing buddy Antonio Crepi pulls strings at the national Ministry of the Interior to get somebody sent from Rome to take over the case.
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Detective Aurelio Zen, exiled to a desk job in the Ministry since his disgrace on a 1978 case, is sent to Perugia. Pleased to get away from Rome, the native Venetian is not so happy about leaving his mother stranded at his apartment, as well as his girlfriend, an American divorcee who deals in antiques. Naturally, the local Pergia police are not happy about Zen's presence, and strangely, the Miletti family is uncooperative as well. Could one of the victim's grown kids be behind the kidnapping? Things turn even nastier after Zen goes out to pay a second ransom and gets beaten up, and Miletti shortly turns up dead. The case could revive Zen's career or break him forever. This gritty 1989 mystery thriller was the start of Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Ratking

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   "All in the family" murder Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Italian


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Michael Dibdin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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