The snow is
falling on the ancient streets of Rome. And in the heart of the city, under the
Pantheon's great dome, a woman's body lies on the marble floor, carefully
positioned with a gruesome carving on her back....In David Hewson's ingenious
new thriller, this horrific murder hurtles Rome's police force into a collision
with U.S. agentsand a secret that has festered for fifteen years, now
unraveling in the world's most enigmatic city.
When Detective Nic Costa arrives at the scene, he is unprepared for what he
finds, or for the ambush that leaves his only witness vanished into the night.
The dead woman was American. Within hours, U.S. agents descend with a
take-no-prisoners style and a shocking story to tell: the killer has struck
before, in monuments all over the world, leaving the same cryptic message carved
onto the bodies of the victims.
But one agent, beautiful, blond Emily Deacon, has yet another story to tell Nicabout
a stunning act of deception that may lead back to the U.S. government, and her
own chilling, personal connection to the killer. Now, as the first murder leads
to more grisly slayings and a motley crew of veteran Roman cops jousts with the
Americans, Nic is pulled into a woman's harrowing search for the truth a search
that will take them both into the mind of a madman, into a shocking
conspiracyand into a dark episode in a nation's long-forgotten past.
From its haunting opening to its nerve-shattering climax, The Sacred Cut
defies all our expectations, proving once again the unique and compelling genius
of David Hewson.
The Detroit Free Press
The Sacred Cut is refreshing because it's low-key.
But sometimes less is creepier. Even the climax is something you
don't see often in books like this: bloodless, but fully
Mystery File - Steve Lewis
This is as intriguing a police procedural as I've read in a long time. Humorous when it needs to be, sad when it needs to be, philosophical when it needs to be, and real all of the time, this is a long novel which you will wish was even longer.
Hewson's literate prose, bolstered by local color and historical tidbits, makes for top-flight entertainment.
Hewson's solid writing and multidimensional characters command attention from start to finish of this smart, literate thriller.
Booklist - Bill Ott
Starred review. A masterful mix of the high-concept historical thriller and the cynical contemporary Italian procedural.
Canberra Times, Australia - Jeff Popple
This is a very impressive and enjoyable police thriller. The story unfolds quickly, with a regular unveiling of surprises and bursts of action. All the characters are well rounded and interesting, and Hewson's descriptions of a snow-clad Rome and its ancient monuments are evocative, and contrast nicely with the convincing depicting of post-September 11, 2001, geopolitics. Overall it is an engaging and intelligent crime novel.
The Globe and Mail, Toronto - Margaret Cannon
This is the third novel in this Roman cop series, and I'm hooked. I love the way Hewson combines 4,000 years of Roman history with 21st-century police plots. I love the Ed McBain style, with recurring characters who play different roles in each book. Most of all, I love the atmosphere and the beautifully crafted plots.
The Age, Melbourne - Cameron Woodhead
It beats the hell out The Da Vinci Code and anyone disappointed by that novel should give this one a try.
About the Nic Costa series:The Sacred Cut is Hewson's third mystery to
star Roman detective Nic Costa. The series started with A Season for
the Dead, published in the UK in 2003 and in the USA in 2004. Then
followed The Villa of Mysteries (2004/2005) and The Sacred
The next in the series, The Lizard's Bite was published in the UK in March and will be available in hardcover in the USA this November. Hewson says the story harks back
to an earlier standalone mystery he wrote - Lucifer's Shadow
(published in the UK in 2001 and in the US in 2005), and includes some of the
same characters. Costa takes on a case that, for the first time, takes him
beyond the known and comfortable confines of Rome, and one which comes at some
considerable personal cost.
In addition to Lucifer's Shadow, Hewson has published four other
stand-alone novels, including his first novel Semana Santa (1996) which
was set in Spain. Although these other titles have not been...
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