On their private island, the Arcangelo family defy the world: living in a decaying palazzo, making glass in a terrifying, archaic furnace, watching their absurd exhibition hall sink into disrepair. But now the world is coming to their dying outpost in a crumbling corner of a Venice that tourists never see. Police boats and vaporetti bring investigators, curiosity seekers, and one man who plans to own the property himself. With two family members consumed by the foundry fire, both mystery and opportunity have been bared to the bone.
On special assignment from Rome, Detective Nic Costa, along with his partner, his boss, and a dogged pathologist named Teresa Lupo, is getting in the way of progress, Venetian-style. They know that Uriel Arcangelo and his wife were murdered. They know that a predatory Englishman must be a suspect, as is the family of the murdered woman. And while everyone wants the Roman cops to give up and go home, they can¿t - because a matter of desire, death, and lies has just turned murderously on one of them....
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©David Hewson; (P)W F Howes Ltd
I've only recently discovered David Hewson's writings. I've been working my way through his Rome detective series and have been impressed by the sheer range of imaginative stories he has thought up. He creates a great sense of atmosphere and place (this story is set in Venice). He has created a quartet of characters who come alive on the page as one follows their progress through the series. Although each book stands alone as a great listen, there is merit in following the series chronologically as there are developments that unfold across time.
The sequence of books has different narrators but the one for this book is particularly good.
... characters whom I feel I'm getting to know. The story was very engaging and kept me guessing to the end. There was also a strong sense of danger and menace which combined to make this very gripping.
Not always an easy 'listen' as it goes the long way round; but well worth it in the end.
Nick Costa and company sent to Venice after solving a case and embarrassing Stoic superiors to walk the streets. Looking at a change and a time to develop relationships and lick wounds but soon bored they are soon exceeding their brief to keep out of trouble as they piece together a web of disconnected happenings.
Expectations met. A worthy addition to the Nic Costa series, long may he and his colleagues detect! Back to Rome.
"The characters grow on you"
I started late with this thriller series and am now trying to catch up with earier releases in chronological order.
At first I thought the Italian police investigators were a bit too stereotyped for my liking but the cast does grow on you. David Hewson´s novels are filled with excellent descriptions of Rome and Italy, and not only the tourist spots featured, for example, in Dan Brown´s work. The stories around Nic Costa and his entourage of colleagues are basically very interesting and cleverly plotted, and "The Lizard´s Bite", set near Venice, is no exception.
I also appreciate that all dialogue is not performed with some overdone weird Italian accent but in clear precise English and look forward to listening to all future releases from David Hewson.
"Brits in Italy"
This is a tough review to make and write. It is between a 3 and a 4 star but we don't have that choice so I went with a weak 4. I was a little bothered by the British accent of the narrator with Italian characters. Also at times the author became overly literary and went off on descriptive tangents with overly drawn metaphors that might be found in a classic English romantic novel. That said, David Newson can tell a good story. Great plot and plot twists. Lots of clues and lots of red herrings. Good characters and good character development. As I said, it is hard to review but worth a listen. I will give him another try in this Nick Costa series.
"Listening to this book is like watching a movie"
The Nick Costa series of books are a great listen. The characters are developed over the whole series so be sure to start at the beginning of the series. The books are a wonderful blend of Italy (at least Rome and Venice) today as well as a look back into history. Every book allows you to easily picture exactly what is going on and where it is happening...Hewson paints the scene and pace so well, you feel like you are watching something instead of listening. I hope audible gets Dante's Peak soon!
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