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It's the height of thetourist season in Rome, and security is tight as world leaders gather for a G8 summit. While politicians bicker behind the walls of the illustrious Palazzo del Quirinale, a terrible threat is lurking outside-a threat that's been dormant for a long time but is now very much awake. In David Hewson's powerful new thriller, Detective Nic Costa and the men and women of the Questura must work in secret to thwart a conspiracy that reaches higher than any of them could have imagined. In the early hours of a sultry summer evening, a government car comes under fire along the narrow Via delle Quattro Fontane. When the shots die away, one person lies dead and another-Ministry of Interior official Giovanni Batisti-has been abducted. The terrible fate of the missing bureaucrat is soon revealed-leaving all of Italy in shock. Who would do such a thing? And why? All signs point to a mysterious terrorist group that calls itself the Blue Demon, an organization whose last campaign of violence ended two decades ago. For Detective Nic Costa, solving this case is an all-consuming obsession. But as he and his team begin their investigation, they find themselves reduced to expensive bodyguards-and their hands tied with red tape-until tragedy strikes and claims one of their own. Hampered at every turn by the Ministry of Interior's meddling security chief and a cagey and powerful prime minister, Costa and the members of his team are determined to pursue their quest for justice. As one terror attack after another sends the Eternal City spiraling into panic, Nic Costa vows that nothing will stop him from catching a vengeful madman bent on tearing apart his city, its people, and its very history.
On a warm, golden evening in Rome, celebrities and paparazzi gather at the Villa Borghese as a legendary director premieres his long-anticipated film version of Dante's Inferno. But minutes later the scene is chaos: A man lies dead, the film's star is missing, and a priceless relic has vanished. As the premiere shifts locations--from Rome to San Francisco--detective Nic Costa finds himself on U.S. shores for the first time, charged with protecting a trove of rare Italian artworks and artifacts, as well as an American film actress, Maggie Flavier. When a killer indeed strikes, and with Flavier in danger, Costa races to unravel the chilling clues that connect Dante's nine circles of Hell to the shattering revelations of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. But he may be too late. For a cunning plot is closing in around Costa, guided by a poet's ancient vision of sin and punishment and a killer's genius for terror. Previously published as Dante's Numbers.From the Paperback edition.
Allan Prime's eyes were as large as any man's Peroni had ever seen. He looked ready to die of fright, even before the bright, shining spear with the blood-soaked tip reached his head . The death mask of the poet Dante is to be exhibited at the premiere of a controversial film, Inferno, based on his epic work. But at the grand unveiling this priceless artefact is replaced by a macabre death mask of the film's star, Allen Prime. And minutes later, the leading actress, Maggie Flavier, is threatened before her attacker is shot. After footage of Primeâ s murder is shown over the internet, the Carabinieri are determined to take over the investigation, certain that a crazed Dante fan is behind the killing. Nic Costa and his team follow the movie to its next showing in San Francisco, to safeguard the remaining items and hoping to recover the stolen death mask. However, in California the mystery deepens, with confusing new clues about the deaths in Rome. With the Carabinieri and local authorities distracted by false leads, can Costa protect Maggie, find the truth and stop the killer -- all before life imitates art?
Acclaimed author David Hewson returns with this mesmerizing new thriller featuring Nic Costa and the detectives of Rome's Questura. This time Costa must solve a case with roots buried deep in one of the ancient city's most infamous episodes--a story of incest, murder, and martyrdom. It's August in Rome, and Nic Costa's vacation is about to be cut short by a scream, a girl covered in blood, and a man lying dead in the Via Beatrice Cenci. It seems that Malise Gabriel, a scholar with an impressive list of enemies, stepped onto faulty scaffolding for a cigarette and fell to his death. On the surface, it's no more than an unfortunate accident. But the deeper Costa looks--into the facts that don't add up, into the haunted eyes of Gabriel's beautiful daughter, Mina, and into the mysterious links between the present and the past--the more he's haunted by disturbing parallels with a centuries-old crime: In 1599, Beatrice Cenci was beheaded by the Vatican for murdering her father, a man known for unthinkable sexual crimes. Does Mina's obsession with Beatrice intimate her own family's dark secrets, or is someone using her as a smoke screen for a far deadlier plan? Soon another body is discovered and Nic comes to doubt his own first impressions. Something evil is circling Mina, her angry and silent mother, her runaway brother, and her family's checkered history in England, the United States, and Italy. And now that something is closing in fast for the kill. In a novel that captures modern Rome in all its complexity, as well as its history of beauty and barbarity, genius and blindness, The Fallen Angel is David Hewson at his best--a twisting and twisted contest between innocence and evil.From the Hardcover edition.
The picture possessed a frightful beauty, one which burned so brightly that, once witnessed, could never be unseen . . . Even the presence of two corpses, one clearly murdered, the other dead through strange and suspicious circumstances, did nothing to distract their attention from the canvas . . . In a hidden studio in an area of Rome where the Vatican liked to keep an eye on the city's prostitutes, an art expert from the Louvre is found dead in front of one of the most beautiful paintings that Nic Costa has ever seen " an unknown Caravaggio masterpiece. But before long tragedy will strike Nic far closer to home. The main suspect's identity is known, but he remains untouchable --protected in his grand palazzo by a fleet of lawyers and a sinister cult known as the Ekstasists. If Costa and his team can crack the reasons for the cult's existence, he may well stand a chance of nailing the double-killer. But the mystery will take him right back to Caravaggio himself and the reasons he had to flee Rome all those centuries before . . .
On an August night on a small island near Venice, a fire explodes in a glassmaking shop. When help arrives, two people are dead, a rich Englishman is implicated, and investigators from Rome are assigned a case no one wants them to solve....In this spellbinding new novel featuring Detective Nic Costa, author David Hewson weaves together the rich fabric of Europe's most beguiling city with a riveting tale of passion, corruption, and the poisonous bite of betrayal. On their private island, the Arcangelo family defy the world: living in a decaying palazzo, making glass in a terrifying, archaic furnace, watching their absurd exhibition hall sink into disrepair. But now the world is coming to their dying outpost in a crumbling corner of a Venice that tourists never see. Police boats and vaporetti bring investigators, curiosity seekers, and one man who plans to own the property himself. With two family members consumed by the foundry fire, both mystery and opportunity have been bared to the bone. On special assignment from Rome, Detective Nic Costa, along with his partner, his boss, and a dogged pathologist named Teresa Lupo, is getting in the way of progress, Venetian-style. They know that Uriel Arcangelo and his wife were murdered. They know that a predatory Englishman must be a suspect, as is the family of the murdered woman. And while everyone wants the Roman cops to give up and go home, they can't-because a matter of desire, death, and lies has just turned murderously on one of them.... A tale as bewitching as its lush backdrop, The Lizard's Bite is an astounding alchemy of superb writing, vibrant atmosphere, and sheer, gripping suspense.
In an ancient burial ground on an island off Venice, a young woman's casket is pried open, an object is wrenched from her hands, and an extraordinary adventure begins. From the moment he arrives in Venice, Daniel Forster is seduced by the city's mystery and eroticism. An earnest young academic, Daniel has come for a summer job cataloguing a private collector's library. But when Daniel's employer sends him to buy a stolen violin from a petty thief, a chain reaction of violence and deception ignites. Suddenly Daniel is drawn into a police investigation--and a tempest swirling around a beautiful woman, a mysterious palazzo, and a lost musical masterpiece dating back centuries. With each step he takes, Daniel unwittingly retraces a journey that began in 1733, when another young man came to Venice. And when, in this realm of intrigue and beauty, two lovers came face-to-face with a killer--and a mystery was born. Separated by centuries, two tales of passion, betrayal, and danger collide in David Hewson's dazzling novel. Sweeping us from the intrigue of Vivaldi's Venice to the gritty world of a modern cop, from the genius of a prodigy to the greed of a killer,Lucifer's Shadowbuilds to a shattering crescendo--and one last, breathtaking surprise. From the Hardcover edition.
'Stefano's left arm, the one holding the weapon, swept the table, swept everything on it . . . She was quiet, waiting, which was, his eyes seemed to say, what he wanted. Then Stefano lifted up the bag to the height of the desk, turned it upside down, let the contents fall on the table and said, 'The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. " ' Whilst Sara Farnese pours over ancient texts in the silent Vatican reading room, a brutal murder is taking place in a nearby church. Then suddenly a crazed man enters the Vatican carrying a bloodied bag. He walks up to Sara's desk. He has something he would like her to see . . . Soon Sara us inextricably linked to a series of horrific and cunning murders, each one representative of the death of a martyr of the Church. Into this climate enter Detectives Costa and Rossi, enlisted to track down the killer, and to protect Sara from the horrors he is capable of. It seems that at any time she could be the next chosen sacrifice . . .
With the words of a retired, disgraced police officer ringing in their ears, Nic Costa and his colleagues embark upon the fifth book in the series, The Seventh Sacrament . The book sees Costa and his colleagues facing the revival of a cold case which Leo Falcone first tackled as a mid-ranking officer years before. A former archaeology professor has been released from jail after serving a long sentence for the murder of a student he believed responsible for the disappearance of his son. But the events ...
In a thriller of astounding menace and power, the acclaimed author of A Season for the Dead returns to the landscape he has made his own--the seething landscape of modern-day Rome--where ancient crimes lie hidden beneath colorful, bustling avenues. Here a teenage girl has disappeared, a detective is exploring a 2000-year-old ritual-and an astonishing mystery is about to unravel in a city of secrets and rage.... In Rome's crowded Campo dei Fiori, a woman rushes up to two carabinieri lounging in their sunglasses and uniforms, insisting that her sixteen-year-old daughter has just been abducted. Detective Nic Costa sees the scene unfold and intervenes. Because Costa knows what the two officers don't: that in the morgue at Rome's police headquarters, a forensic pathologist is examining the strange, mummified corpse of another girl, whose disappearance and death bear haunting similarities.... Police pathologist Teresa Lupo is Nic's colleague, friend, and his only equal when it comes to breaking the rules to get results, whatever the cost. Now, after years of living with the dead, Teresa insists that her superiors move quickly to save a life. Poring over the body of the girl in the morgue, she has found too many similarities between the girls, including a unique, leering tattoo. Lupo is sure that the vanished girl is headed for a bizarre ancient Bacchanalia involving virgins and sacrificial murder-a ritual that is only days away. As Nic and Teresa claw at the case from two sides-and as Nic finds himself at once puzzled and beguiled by the missing girl's seductive mother-a chilling picture is beginning to emerge...of secret relationships and sexual depravity, organized crime and unimaginable corruption. With the clock ticking down on a young girl's life, Nic and Teresa are about to make the most horrifying discovery of all--in a pit of human darkness, where an age-old malevolence still endures, evil has consumed innocence...and a very modern vengeance has begun. A spellbinding mix of suspense, forensic science, and human drama, The Villa of Mysteries will catch you off guard at every turn--a novel that is at once heartbreaking and impossible to put down.
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