It begins on one of Rome's least-known hills, the Aventino, in the public piazza fronting the mansion of the Knights of Malta. There, a curious keyhole to the knights' estate reveals an astonishing view, a direct line across the Tiber to the dome of St. Peters in the distance.
For seven-year-old Alessio Bramante the act of peeping through the keyhole on his way to school each day is a ritual, a way of establishing a bond with his difficult, distant father, one of Rome's most famous archaeologists, Giorgio Bramante. Then one day, after an unexpected visit to one of Giorgio's underground excavations, Alessio disappears. A group of students who had slipped into the site, an ancient Mithraic temple, attract the blame. A tragedy occurs. Alessio is never found, and it's his father who goes to jail.
Fourteen years later, in an arcane shrine by the Tiber known as the Little Museum of Purgatory, a tee-shirt belonging to Bramante's son begins to show fresh bloodstains. No one can understand how the marks have appeared behind the glass. Soon it becomes apparent that the newly-released Giorgio Bramante is bent upon a vicious and terrifying revenge on all those he blames for the loss of his son, and numbers Inspector Leo Falcone, a member of the original investigating team, among his targets. In the depths of the labyrinth he knows better than any man, a distraught father seeks his vengeance against those he hates.
Nic Costa, watching Falcone move relentlessly into the man's deadly grip, realises the answer to the deadly present must lie in solving a cold case that, like the forgotten Alessio Bramante, has long been regarded as dead and buried for good...
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©2007 David Hewson; (P)2007 W F Howes Ltd.
"Artfully weaves several points-of-view as it shifts between past and present....A mystery whose poignant resolution few readers will anticipate." (Publishers Weekly)
Starts slowly but has a wonderful finish. An excellent book-both as a thriller and good lierature -in audio form superbly narrated. Best of the Hewson novels so far
david hewson has consistantly produced quality with the 'rome serise' and this is his best yet, after the events in the last book set in venice the gang are back in rome and all is not well with the team or with the ruthless criminals and murderers that are about to give the detectives there biggest challenge yet!!!!
you dont want to miss this book and the whole catalog from david hewson if you havent read any then this is still highly accesable and is fantasticly narrated
This was my first David Hewson and I thank Audible for recommending his work. 14 wonderful hours of listening and so very well read. Even the difficult names of the characters, being Italian, became easy to remember because of the superb characterisation of the narrator. Beautifully crafted book and now I am about to download the next. Many many thanks.
I admire Hewson's ingenuity in constructing intricate plots and have enjoyed the earlier books in his Rome series, however, this fifth one I feel has too complicated a structure for an audio book. My lower rating is for the audio version. There are too many characters with unfamiliar Italian names, but, even more confusing is the repeated switching back and forth in time. I kept having to re-adjust my mind as to whether the chapter was about the present or the past. I'm sure it is fine to read this book, but not to listen to, despite the excellent reader.
I also found some of the descriptive writing a bit over-blown compared with the earlier books.
I really enjoyed this book - read it straight after Lizard's Bite so was really into the people. Loved the history - just made me more resolute to get to Rome in 2008 if I can! David Hewson at his best possibly - but now got to wait for the next one!
I am working my way through this series but not in the right order. However this is not detracting from the enjoyment but the stories do follow the lives of the same group of people so ideally you do need to read them in the right order. This was superb from start to finish and I didn't see the ending coming. As usual from Saul the narration was excellent...one of the problems with the first books in the series for me to buy is that they are not narrated by him. You will not be disappointed in this book. I can thoroughly recommend it.
This is an audiobook that grips from the outset, and having taken hold, doesn't let go. Very hard to stop listening towards the end. The author's in depth knowledge of Rome and its past shines through, and the complex plot is pretty convincing, though some of the timejumps in the narrative are disconcerting. Very well read and well worth listening to!
I 'sort of' listened to almost half the book and finally realised that I didn't really know what was going on.
Having not listened to any of the books in the series before I found it very confusing knowing who was who. There are a lot of characters, all with Italian names- and there is no background or anything on any of them.
Still, something about the story intrigued me enough to start to listen again from the beginning. Finally I understood that the story skips from past to present constantly and I got to know the main characters.
After that it became a pleasure to listen to this book - in fact I couldn't stop listening...
As others have already commented: the narration is excellent. I will now look for more books in the series, it should be easier now to get into the story-lines.
The plot of the book is good and it moves along at a fair pace. I'm unfamiliar with the author therefore I downloaded this book on the basis that it was read by Saul Reichlin. Previously I had listened to the Lisbeth Salander trilogy back to back and like others thought that Reichlin's narration was Oscar winning stuff. However, Reichlin uses exactly the same characterisations for his reading of The Seventh Sacrament, which I must admit was a little difficult from time to time. If like me, you want to listen to this immediately after the Salander trilogy, perhaps best to take a break first !
Well here it is. This is a true mystery story. A story within a story mystery. I enjoyed every word of this book. A very good writer and a very good reader.
I think you would best be served by reading this series in order although the book stands alone adequately. My very American ears/mind had some trouble keeping everyone straight in the book. It wasn't the narrator's fault(he was excellent). It was the foreign character names I kept mixing up! I loved the bit of history the book uses and suspect those familiar with Rome would be very well pleased to recognize landmarks etc. The tale focuses both on a current crime and one 14 years old. The author exposes both crimes as they evolve and even with that, although you know what is happening, you don't know why or suspect the ending. I'm glad I chose this book to read.
This slow moving story gets dragged down by over descriptive and gratuitous historical background which drove me to put this book "down" many times. It became a hardship to listen to it drone on and on. The plot got lost in the verbiage.
A good book. Learned about an ancient Roman cult and listened to a mytery unfold at the same time.... Not boring at all. The team of investigators are well developed characters. Plus the scene with the 'worm' autopsy makes it totally worth it...
"Another great Hewson story"
If you like David Hewson, you may find this episode of the Nic Costa series to be one of his best. Hewson continues to be a master of mystery...he's a very good writer, both with plot and language. I have enjoyed all of the Costa stories, but this has been my favorite to date. This is the same narrator used for the previous two (I think) and he's very good. If you're new to Hewson, you might want to start at the beginning of the Costa story. I can't wait to listen to the next episode.
I bought this book because I have actually looked through that keyhole in Rome while visiting my sister and thought it sounded interesting. I tried and tried to understand it and after a couple hours I still had no clue what this book is about and gave up on it. Maybe one day when I'm out of credits I'll give it another go.
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