Dante's Numbers: Book summary and reviews of Dante's Numbers by David Hewson

Dante's Numbers

By David Hewson

Dante's Numbers
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

It was a warm, golden evening in Rome—a night filled with anticipation. A legendary director was premiering his new film version of Dante’s Inferno. From around the world, celebrities gathered at the Villa Borghese as the paparazzi thronged among them. But within moments the event was in chaos. A man was dead. The film’s star was missing—and a priceless relic had vanished. In David Hewson’s masterful new novel of suspense, Detective Nic Costa, numb from the recent death of his wife, finds himself and his fellow detectives drawn into a strange and terrifying limbo—the first of Dante’s nine circles of Hell.

While Dante had Beatrice as his guide, Nic Costa has an enigmatic beauty of his own: a bored American film actress named Maggie Flavier who decides that Costa, and no one else, is suited for the job of protecting her from the danger surrounding the film. As the premiere shifts locations—from Rome to San Francisco—Costa leaves Europe for the first time in his life, and is pulled from his grief and ambivalence by Maggie Flavier and the city by the bay. Fortunately his fellow detectives are under no such spell. Charged with protecting a trove of rare Italian artworks and artifacts, they are also joining the hunt for a killer who has struck twice again, leaving behind a tableau of clues that range from Dante’s deadly cycle of numbers to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

Now, with Maggie herself in danger, Nic must throw off the fog of wonder and infatuation he feels in the presence of this beautiful woman in all her guises. But it may already be too late. As evidence points to connections deep within the Italian Mafia, and the Roman policemen do battle with a celluloid culture they cannot quite comprehend, a killer’s chilling plot is closing in around them—guided by a poet’s medieval vision of sin and punishment, planned with a modern genius for revenge….

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A convoluted plot, eccentric characters and numerous sinister connections to Hitchcock's Vertigo all contribute to the suspense." - Publishers Weekly.

"Hewson never loses the reader’s attention, and for fans of this outstanding series, the latest chapter in the interlocked lives of Costa and friends… is as delicious as ever." - Booklist.

"The seventh of Hewson’s series featuring Nic Costa of the Italian State Police is as smart and sophisticated as the other six. Hewson always uses some bit of Roman or Italian history or literature to focus his modern crime novels, and this is one of his best. Maybe that’s because the central theme is built around the work of Dante, or maybe it’s because Hewson moves the action, but not the mood, from Rome to Los Angeles, the centre of glitz and glamour. Dante and movies? If you think it won’t work, think again." - The Toronto Globe & Mail.

"Eerie coincidences turn up involving Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo. Other murders and an obsessive killer heighten the suspense. Another Nic Costa winner." - Edmonton Sun.

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Author Information

David Hewson Author Biography

David Hewson is the author of several travel books, at least six standalone novels and the Nic Costa series. He used to be a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times, but gave up journalism in 2005 to focus full time on his novels. He lives in Kent, England.

David originates from the North of England and did not travel abroad until he was 21. However he read about Italy and Greece at the library and grew up dreaming of the Mediterranean.

Rights for the Nic Costa series have been sold to a number of countries, but he is particularly proud of the fact that the series has been translated into Italian, "When you're a foreigner writing about their country, normally they won't touch you. They'll look at a book and say this is all wrong, so it's great that an Italian publisher should ...

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