Synopses & Reviews
In a deserted artists studio in the heart of Rome, detectives stumble upon a scene of shocking brutality: two bodies, freshly killed. Looming over them is a painting that bears all the hallmarks of a Caravaggio: a brilliantly colored canvas depicting a violent tableau of beauty and depravity. . . . In David Hewsons bold new novel of suspense, this grisly discovery sends Detective Nic Costa on a desperate chase through the streets of his city. The consequences are devastating. And for Nic, the case has only just begun.
At the crime scene, detectives find a treasure trove of evidencefrom fresh blood to lurid photos of dead prostitutes. For Costa, finding the killer who escaped him is intensely personal. But his prime suspect arrogantly hides in plain sight behind a fortress of money, power, and the law.
Teaming with an art expert, Costa follows clues hidden in the mysterious Caravaggio canvas. As he moves through a maze of history, he begins to make stunning connections to the present case. And each discovery brings him closer and closer to a secret buried in a priceless work of art, a conspiracy dating back four hundred yearsand men who will stop at nothing to protect their own private garden of evil.
From modern forensics to the realm of the Medicis, from the force of faith to the corruption of power, The Garden of Evil is a novel steeped in Roman historyand an unforgettable experience in richly atmospheric, modern-day suspense.
"At the outset of this dark jewel of a thriller, Hewson's sixth to feature Roman detective Nic Costa (after The Seventh Sacrament), Costa and his team are just starting to process a crime scene in an artist's shabby studio, where two corpses lie sprawled before a painting of a rapturous female nude redolent of Caravaggio, when they flush out a hooded gunman. The gunman escapes in the ensuing chase, but not before shooting dead Costa's wife of three months, former FBI agent Emily Deacon. While Costa is taken off the case, his rule-bending boss finds a way for him to help on the sly, assisting the unusual art expert young Sister Agata Graziano called in to investigate whether the canvas could really be a Caravaggio and what light it might shed on the murders. You don't have to be much of a sleuth to foresee danger for Sister Agata, but that's about the only predictable element in a plot otherwise as serpentine and suspense filled as the ancient Roman byways through which Costa stalks his prey. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
David Hewson is the author of nine novels. Formerly a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times, he lives in Kent, England, where he is at work on his next crime novel, Dantes Numbers, which Delacorte will publish in 2009.