In a deserted artist's 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
Hewson's 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.
Aldo caviglia glimpsed his reflection in the overhead mirror of the crowded 64
bus. He was not a vain man but, on the whole, he approved of what he saw.
Caviglia had recently turned sixty. Four years earlier he had lost his wife.
There had been a brief, lost period when drink took its toll, and with it his
job in the ancient bakery in the Campo dei Fiori, just a few minutes' walk from
the small apartment close to the Piazza Navona where they had lived for their
entire married life. He had escaped the grip of the booze before it stole away
his looks. The grief he still felt marked him only inwardly now.
Today he was wearing what he thought of as his winter Thursday uniform, a taupe woollen coat over a brown suit with a knife-edge crease running down the trousers. In his mind's eye he was the professional man he would have been in another, different life. A minor academic, a civil servant, an accountant perhaps. Someone happy with his lot, and ...
Authors with the ability to create such vivid descriptions of time and place sometimes fall short when it comes to writing action sequences. Such is not the case with Hewson who delivers action that is both riveting and cinematic. What truly draws the reader, though, are the sections of the novel that concentrate on revelation – revelation of clues to solving the crime as well as the illumination of the principals' characters.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1330 words).
A painting presumed to be by the 17th century painter Caravaggio is central to the plot of The Garden of Evil. The work found (which is purely fictional) is purported to be the artist's copy of an actual oil by Annibale Carracci, entitled Venus with a Satyr and Cupids.
Caravaggio is one of the most fascinating and influential artists of the early Baroque era.* He was born Michelangelo Merisi, in Milan on 8 September 1573. The family moved to the small town of Caravaggio in Lombardy in 1576, and it is from this city that he took his name. After the death of his father, a master builder, in 1584 Caravaggio was apprenticed to Simone Peterzano, a painter in Milan of the school of Titian. His apprenticeship ...
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