Aurelio Zen

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Aurelio Zen
First appearance Ratking
Last appearance End Games
Created by Michael Dibdin
Portrayed by Rufus Sewell
Gender Male
Occupation Police detective
Nationality Italian

Aurelio Zen is a fictional Italian detective created by the British crime writer Michael Dibdin.

Erratic, emotional and all too human, Zen negotiates the constantly shifting political terrain of both his job and his country through the 1990s and into the new century.

Middle aged[1] and already somewhat jaded when we first meet him, he has had a long career in the State Police and is in a relatively senior position. Unafraid to employ radical and even downright underhanded methods when he feels them appropriate, Zen struggles to manage the competing demands of his aged mother, his girlfriend and his job, sometimes accepting an assignment simply to escape from domestic pressures. Heart mostly in the right place, he does his best to make sense of whatever confronts him.


  1. ^ He is introduced in Ratking, the first book in the series, as appearing around 50. The TV series includes dialog indicating he is approaching 40.