Playboy Umberto Ruspanti falls from a bridge, an apparent suicide but minister Colonna asks Zen to investigate and he finds the dead man's flat was ransacked. His last diary entry read AOC ... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tania Moretti
Arianna von Falkenhayn
Emil Marwa ...
Enzo Squillino Jr. ...
Daniele Monterosi ...
Vincent Riotta ...
Sargon Yelda ...
Nadia Pirlo
Eduardo Guerchini


Playboy Umberto Ruspanti falls from a bridge, an apparent suicide but minister Colonna asks Zen to investigate and he finds the dead man's flat was ransacked. His last diary entry read AOC and his nervous lawyer tells Zen he was trying to make much-needed cash from a valuable and illegal sale. Later Zen is approached by the fugitive Massimo, fleeing the powerful and illicit right wing group the Cabal, whom,he claims, killed Umberto. At the funeral Zen meets glamorous call girl Arianna who tells him that Ruspanti had been involved in criminal activities and he was to get himself off the hook by betraying the Cabal. His information was in a safe deposit box, which she helps Zen procure. But then they are threatened by a gunman wanting the box. Is he working alone or does the Cabal really exist? Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

24 July 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


When Zen is in Nadia Pirlo's office, she gets up from her sofa with her hair parted on the left and a mole (or spot or something) on the right side of her face, and she moves to the right of Zen. The next shot, however, is reversed. She appears from the opposite direction, with her hair and spot on the other sides of her face. See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing adaptation
19 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a fan of the Aurelio Zen series of detective novels by Michael Dibdin. The voice in these captivating and compelling novels is fresh. Sadly, the BBC, which usually does a pretty good job with producing such crime and mystery dramas, really dropped the ball on this one, so it is no surprise that the series was canceled after only the first three episodes. Rufus Sewell tries to give us a sardonic Zen, but is lacking in the real zen of Zen - surprising to me, as he is one actor whom I usually quite enjoy. Also, for some reason the BBC decided to shift a large focus on to only one of Zen's love interests ... yet she first appears in this, the second book in the Zen series and sticks around for only 3 more. Also, lots of "atmospheric" filler padding out the time, when more of the book could have been added to much better satisfaction. Disappointingly, what was so brilliantly done with Val McDermid's Tony Hill series did not make it to Michael Didbin's Aurelio Zen. Questions one might ask is why didn't/couldn't they find an English- speaking Italian actor, or an Italian-British actor, for the role of Zen? Why was Zen's mother cast as so young and sexy? Why did this seem more like a travelogue or vacation bureau promotion than a serious drama? I guess what I am really saying is this : Read the novels and get into the mind and Italian locations of Aurelio Zen yourself. One thing I did while reading these novels was to have my Google Earth booted up, so that I could virtually walk around the places Zen went ... and he gets around to many fascinating Italian cities.

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