Synopses & Reviews
In an ancient burial ground on an island off Venice, a young womans 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 citys mystery and eroticism. An earnest young academic, Daniel has come for a summer job cataloguing a private collectors library. But when Daniels 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 Hewsons dazzling novel. Sweeping us from the intrigue of Vivaldis Venice to the gritty world of a modern cop, from the genius of a prodigy to the greed of a killer, Lucifers Shadow builds to a shattering crescendo and one last, breathtaking surprise.
"In this Venetian thriller, British author Hewson (A Season for the Dead) offers a tantalizing tale of intrigue, murder and sex. Two props propel the action: a concerto penned by a young Jewish woman in 1733 and performed once, anonymously, before its disappearance, and her unique violin. When in the present day this instrument is snatched from an obscure grave and the anonymous concerto is discovered in a long-forgotten hiding place, an innocent English scholar is drawn into an increasingly dangerous game of deception. Through the 18th-century letters and journals of a printers apprentice, the reader discovers the secret of the concerto, while Daniel Forster, in Venice to work for an ailing art collector, relives the mystery connected to the beautiful piece of music. The story set during the glory days of Vivaldi is more vivid, compelling and romantic than the contemporary one, as Daniels a bit of a cold fish. And if the various elements dont quite add up to a satisfying whole, the intricate view of Venice with its palazzos and sewers, its concert halls and old Jewish ghetto is more than ample compensation." Publishers Weekly
"Intelligent and highly-detailed...rivals Perez-Reverte's The Flanders Panel in historical intricacy, complexity of motive, and multileveled storytelling.... Prepare for a devilish ride." Booklist, starred review
"[E]choes of Christie, Dickens, O. Henry and even Poe on each page, and yet is unshakably contemporary and unmistakably Hewson. Lucifer's Shadow, set in different time periods, is itself a timeless work, a classic. Highest possible recommendation." Bookreporter.com
"Lucifers Shadow is unputdownable." Chicago Tribune
"Hewson sets his scene masterfully, using the sights, colours, sounds and history of Venice to make the city a character, and it all works perfectly." Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"Richly enjoyable, sophisticated and beguiling entertainment." Sunday Times
"An unusual but beautifully-written interwoven twin story of scams, deception and intrigue in the world of music, of all places, set 250 years apart in Venice." Irish News
"A nice, easy read that most will find a devilishly good way to while away the last days of summer." Omaha World-Herald
When Daniel Forster, a young Englishman, arrives in Venice, he is soon drawn into a treacherous game of deception spanning three centuries, from the Venice of Vivaldi and Rousseau to the violence of the present day.
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 second novel featuring Nic Costa, The Villa of Mysteries. His first Nic Costa novel, A Season for the Dead, has recently been published by Delacorte Press.