In an ancient burial ground on an island off Venice, a young woman's casket is pried open, an object is wrenched from her hands, and an extraordinary adventure begins.
From the moment he arrives in Venice, Daniel Forster is seduced by the city's mystery. An earnest young academic, Daniel has come for a summer job cataloguing a private collector's library.
But when Daniel's employer sends him to buy a stolen violin from a petty thief, a chain reaction of violence and deception ignites. Suddenly Daniel is drawn into a police investigation - and a tempest swirling around a beautiful woman, a mysterious palazzo, and a lost musical masterpiece dating back centuries.
With each step he takes, Daniel unwittingly retraces a journey that began in 1733, when another young man came to Venice. And when, in this realm of intrigue and beauty, two lovers came face-to-face with a killer - and a mystery was born...
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©2001 David Hewson; (P)2001 W F Howes Ltd
David Hewson is adept at combining fast-paced crime/thriller stories with the history, art and, in this book, the music of a particular place. Lucifer's Shadow is set in Venice and inter-weaves two parallel stories: one in the present day and the other about 300 years earlier. Gradually the two stories are brought together. This book is more complicated in its structure than his excellent Rome series and you need to listen attentively to the first few chapters to get clear in your mind the sets of characters in the two stories. The reader, Christopher Kay, helps by using a wide range of accents. I was hooked by the book and finished it over 3 days. I am, yet again, amazed by Hewson's divergent mind able to think up these astonishing plots inter-linking fact and fiction.
Whilst I enjoyed this book, the narrator's accent for one of the characters drove me mad. A sort of "shadda-uppa-your-face " accent? I understand from other readers reviews but I'm not the only one irritated by this. It did spoil my enjoyment of the book somewhat.
This was my first audio book and I can honestly say it won't be my last, the characters in this book came alive, my heart was in my mouth at times, the narrator was brilliant he added depth to the characters, I really enoyed how history was woven into the present, just wonderful...
I have just finished listening to this marvellous book. The characters hsve invaded my psyche as has Juanita Macmahon's wonderful reading. I reccomend it to all who enjoy a rich often confronting plot read with wonderful consistency and great insight into this bleak time in English History.
This is such a slow and dull book. I must admit I nearly gave up listening at the end of the first part (though it picked up a bit in part 2) And the Italian accents should have been left behind. They don't add anything apart from disbelief at the awfulness of them.
Normally I love David Hewson's works but I struggled with this one. The idea of two inter - related stories set a couple of hundred years apart was a good one, good enough to make me listen to the end, but soooo long. Every time I thought that the end was in sight (or hearing), I was thwarted by another twenty chapters! OK, I admit that I exaggerate but not much.
The narration was skilled but there are only so many heavy Italisn accents a woman can cope with, after a while they divide into one male and one female and that makes differentiating between the centuries more difficult. It is also hard on the ear!
Frankly David Hewson should have edited his book more skillfully and remembered that sometimes less is more. Had the book been less longwinded I feel that the narration would have been less wearing.
Little slow to start, but soon drawn in .I picked this story because sadly I have no more of the Rome series books left ... I knew how the Masterson story line ends in a future book and was fascinated about the start of it.
David Hewson , never let's you down !!!!
Unfortunately I gave up on this due to the narration. A great shame as I have liked Christopher Kay reading the other David Hewson books. But this one had a huge amount of very heavy, presumably meant to be Italian accented English, and I found it too irritating to listen after a while. What a shame. The others were good.
Wonderful story - one of Hewson's best after you get through the first two hours. I listened to it twice before I "got" that the narrator was conveying verbally what would have been immediately obvious if I had been reading. Once I understood the structure the story unfolded as wheels within wheels. Very satisfying, intricate, stimulating, kept me glued to my iPod. Do read this book!
This is a wonderful, complex, literate thriller that interweaves two stories, one set in the present and one set in the 18th century. The characters are a unique and interesting cast. The plot moves briskly, with unpredictable twists and turns. The Venetian setting will appeal to anyone who has visited the city. The narrator is very good, changing voices quite deftly for so many characters. His Italian and American accents are not the best, but do not detract from one's enjoyment of the plot.
"You will enjoy this book"
A very good read though parts of the story line seem unbelievable . The plot moves along and I did not find the flipping of the time sequences at all difficult
Have fun with this book especially if you love historical fiction.
"Not well suited to audio format"
I found the story very hard to follow since it moves from past to present and back. The characters were not well developed and I could not follow who was who in the plot. I gave up and didn't finish the book....life is too short to listen to bad books.
I would not search him out, but I wouldn't NOT listen to a book because he was the reader.
He needs to give more variation to his character voices to help the listner keep the separate.
Most of them!
I just did not like this book!
"A Waste of a Credit"
The hoaky Italian accents coupled with an awful plot is a recipe for a reader wandering how it got 4 stars
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