MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Sacred Cut by David Hewson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sacred Cut

A Nic Costa Mystery

by David Hewson

The Sacred Cut
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2006, 512 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Mercoledi

The two plainclothes cops huddled in the doorway of a closed farmacia in Via del Corso, shivering, teeth chattering, watching Mauro Sandri, the fat little photographer from Milan, fumble with the two big Nikon SLRs dangling round his neck. It was five days before Christmas and for once Rome was enjoying snow, real snow, deep and crisp and even, the kind you normally only saw on the TV when some surprise blizzard engulfed those poor miserable bastards living in the north.

It fell from the black sky as a perfect, silky cloud. Thick flakes curled around the gaudy coloured lights of the street decorations in a soft, white embrace. The pavements were already blanketed in a crunchy, shoe-deep covering in spite of the milling crowds who had pounded the Corso's black stones a few hours earlier, searching for last-minute Christmas presents in the stores.

Nic Costa and Gianni Peroni had read the met briefing before they went on duty that evening. They'd looked at the words "severe weather warning" and tried to remember what that meant. Floods maybe. Gales that brought down some of the ancient tiles which sat so unsteadily on the rooftops of the centro storico, the warren of streets and alleys in the city's Renaissance quarter where the two men spent most of their working lives. But this was different. The met men said it would snow and snow and snow. Snow in a way it hadn't for almost twenty years, since the last big freeze in 1985. Only for longer this time, a week or more. And the temperatures would hit new lows too. Maybe it was global warming. Maybe it was just a trick throw of the meteorological dice. Whatever the reason, the world was about to become seriously out of sync for a little while and that knowledge, shared among the two and a half million or more individuals who lived within the boundaries of the Comune di Roma, was both scary and tantalizing. The city was braced for its first white Christmas in living memory and already the consequences of this were beginning to seep into the Roman consciousness. People were preparing to bunk off work for any number of sound and incontrovertible reasons. They'd picked up the nasty virus that was creeping through the city. They couldn't take the buses in from the suburbs because, even if they made it through the dangerous, icy streets, who knew if they'd get back in the evening? Life was, for once, just too perilous to do anything but stay at home, or maybe wander down to the local bar and talk about nothing except the weather.

And they were all, librarian and shop assistant, waiter and tour guide, priest and shivering cop, thinking secretly: This is wonderful. Because for once Christmas would be a holiday. For once the city would step off the constantly moving escalator of modern life, remember to take a deep breath, close its eyes and sleep a little, all under that gorgeous ermine coverlet that kept falling in a constant white cloud, turning the black stones of the empty streets the colour of icing sugar.

Peroni glanced at his partner, an expression Costa now recognized, one that said: Watch this. Then the big cop walked over and threw an arm around Sandri, squeezing him hard.

"Hey, Mauro," Peroni growled, and crushed the photographer one more time before letting go. "Your fingers are frozen stiff. It's pitch dark here with nothing to look at but snow. Why don't you quit taking photos for a while? You must've done a couple of hundred today already. Relax. We could go some place warm. Come on. Even you clever guys could handle a caffè corretto on a night like this."

Excerpted from The Sacred Cut by David Hewson Copyright © 2005 by David Hewson. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...
  • Book Jacket: The Loney
    The Loney
    by Andrew Hurley
    Landscape can be a writer's best friend. Whether it's the mountains of England's lake...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    by Phaedra Patrick

    In a poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.