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
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).
A thought-provoking blend of art history and mystery, The Garden of Evil is … a treat for readers who like their entertainment literate.
Starred Review. 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.
Starred Review. Arturo Pérez-Reverte has long set the gold standard for mixing history, mystery, and modern life into literary stews of mouthwatering flavor and incredible subtlety, but it’s time to agree that Hewson now shares that position—and is on the verge of claiming it outright.
Daily Express - Peter Burton The Garden of Evil .... is even more gripping than its predecessors. Hewson is a cunning storyteller… What follows is a deadly cat-and-mouse game during which the body count steadily rises and Roman history once again proves to be a vital component in the case .... impossible to put down.
Toronto Globe & Mail - Margaret Cannon
The Nic Costa series, set in Rome, is one of my favourites. Hewson sets his stories so firmly in place that it’s possible to go from street to piazza to alley, and almost feel the stones of the walks or touch the ancient Roman bricks. The Garden of Evil is the best book so far in the Costa series, and that’s saying a lot. But Hewson takes his plotting here a giant step further than in the usual cop/chase story.
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 expired five years
later, and he subsequently made his way to Rome.
Desperately poor, Caravaggio hired himself out doing odd jobs in various
painters' studios. No job lasted long, perhaps due to his explosive temper. He
was eventually hired by Giuseppe Cesari (also known as the Cavalier...
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