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A Season for the Deadby David Hewson
Synopses & Reviews
In a hushed Vatican reading room, the scene was shocking: a crazed professor shot dead after brandishing evidence of a grisly crime. Moments later, two bodies are found in a nearby church, each with a gruesome calling card from the killer. Thus begins David Hewson's elegant and electrifying new novel. Set amidst a bizarre killing spree in modern Rome, it is a bewitching blend of history and drama, sensuality and suspense.
As the August heat takes Rome in its fiery grip, the news of two brutal murders holds the city in thrall. And as the media gathers and Vatican officials close ranks, a young detective is sent to the forefront of the case. Nic Costa is the son of an infamous Italian Communist, a connoisseur of Caravaggio, and a cop who barely looks his 27 years of age. Thrust into the heart of a killing spree that will rattle his city down to its ancient bones, Nic meets a woman who will soon dominate both his consciousness and his investigation.
A cool, beautiful professor of early Christianity, Sara Farnese was in the Vatican library on that fateful day, a witness to her colleague's strange outburst and death. But her role will become even more puzzling as more bodies are found: Each victim killed in a gory tableau of Christian martyrdom. And each victim had intimately known Sara, whose silence Costa cannot quite crack and whose carnal history becomes more lurid and unfathomable with every revelation.
Soon, a nightmarish chase is implicating politicians and priests — while at the heart of the matter remains the woman Costa is both investigating and guarding. Wanting to believe in Sara's innocence, Nic still cannot turn his eyes from the truths he is uncovering. Even as the secrets of a woman, a killer and a city begin to unravel...with devastating consequences.
A beguiling mystery, a dazzling treat for the senses, and a fascinating tour of the streets and alleyways of Rome, Nic Costa's relentlessly suspenseful debut is a masterpiece of suspense fiction.
"A Season for the Dead, like The Da Vinci Code, is a thriller that takes an unflattering look at the Catholic Church, but it is better written and more sophisticated....A Season for the Dead, if sometimes blissfully over the top, is intelligent entertainment." The Washington Post Book World
"Outsized, eccentric characters, a complex story and an abundance of historical detail make this engrossing book more than just another cookie-cutter, religious-nut serial killer thriller." Publishers Weekly
"Hewson tends to overstuff, but likable Nic exudes series potential." Kirkus Reviews
"Keeps the reader guessing...relentlessly tightening the suspense until the end." Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
"[A] dark delight, a story that one is compelled to read at one sitting while simultaneously wishing it will never end." BookReporter.com
"[A] delicious and compelling view of the public art of Rome and the private intrigue of the Vatican. Recommended." Library Journal
"Richly enjoyable, sophisticated and beguiling entertainment." Sunday Times (London)
In a hushed Vatican Reading Room, the scene is shocking: a crazed professor shot dead after brandishing evidence of a grisly crime. Moments later, two bodies are found in a nearby church, each with a gruesome calling card from their killer.
Detective Nic Costa is one of the first on the scene. A cop who barely looks his twenty-seven years, Nic soon meets a woman who will dominate both his thoughts—and his investigation. A cool, beautiful professor of early Christianity, Sara Farnese was in the Vatican Library on that fateful day, a witness to her colleagues outburst and grotesque death.
And as more bodies are found, her role becomes even more baffling…because each victim had intimately known Sara, a woman whose history becomes more lurid and unfathomable with each revelation. Until the case takes a sudden, strange turn—and the secrets of a woman, a killer, and a city begin to unravel…with devastating consequences….
About the Author
David Hewson has written five novels, as well as several travel books. A weekly columnist for the Sunday Times, he lives in Kent, England, where he is currently working on his next novel featuring Nic Costa, The Villa of Mysteries
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