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Publisher's Summary

In Rome's crowded Campo dei Fiori, a woman rushes up to two carabinieri lounging in their sunglasses and uniforms, insisting that her 16-year-old daughter has just been abducted. Detective Nic Costa sees the scene unfold and intervenes. Because Costa knows what the two officers don't: that in the morgue at Rome's police headquarters, a forensic pathologist is examining the strange, mummified corpse of another girl, whose disappearance and death bear haunting similarities.Police pathologist Teresa Lupo is Nic's colleague, friend, and his only equal when it comes to breaking the rules to get results, whatever the cost. Now, after years of living with the dead, Teresa insists that her superiors move quickly to save a life. Poring over the body of the girl in the morgue, she has found too many similarities between the girls, including a unique, leering tattoo. Lupo is sure that the vanished girl is headed for a bizarre ancient Bacchanalia involving virgins and sacrificial murder: a ritual that is only days away.As Nic and Teresa claw at the case from two sides, and as Nic finds himself at once puzzled and beguiled by the missing girl's seductive mother, a chilling picture is beginning to emerge of secret relationships and sexual depravity, organized crime and unimaginable corruption. With the clock ticking down on a young girl's life, Nic and Teresa are about to make the most horrifying discovery of all: in a pit of human darkness, where an age-old malevolence still endures, evil has consumed innocence. And a very modern vengeance has begun.
©2004 David Hewson; (P)2004 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Vincent on 12-31-07

Italian accents

Hewson's books are great, but I far prefer the other narrator, the one who read The Sacred Cut and The Seventh Sacrament. This one, in addition to mispronouncing Italian words (which the other guy also did), reads all the dialogues with an Italian accent. This is absurd! Italians do not speak to each other in English with an Italian accent! Obviously they would speak in Italian and without a foreign accent, and since the book is in English, can't we just assume we are reading a translation into English of what they said, and dismiss the silly accents, please? As they stand, the accents are very distracting and make a caricature of what are otherwise excellent dialogues. Do listen anyway, though, because these are great books, engaging at every level and far better written than Dan Brown's.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Carola on 01-19-08

con gusto!

Engaging, amusing characters. Plenty of surprises that keep you guessing until the end. A mystery with special pleasures for archaeology buffs and anyone who has ever visited Rome.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Sarah R. on 02-29-08

I agree with Gwen

I just want to echo everything that Gwen has said about this book. It is the first audiobook I have actually given up on. I cannot listen to any more of it.

Having listened to and really enjoyed the later Nic Costa books narrated by Saul Reichlin I was delighted when three earlier David Hewson books appeared recently on Audiobooks but I am very disappointed. The narration is so terrible on this one I shall not bother with the other two.

Hopefully Saul Reichlin will narrate any future audiobooks by David Hewson. His narration is brilliant.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful


By G. Ryan on 02-08-08

Oh my gosh ...

Well if I thought the first book in the Rome series was narrated badly, then this one is awful. I am about an hour from finishing it. The listener will have to endure all of the Italian characters (i.e. most of the characters in the book) being narrated in an accent like 'oh shuddup-a-ya-face'.

I do not know how much this has detracted from this book but I am also disappointed by the main thread of this story - a story often related by less able authors and dirty old men. I also really disliked Eyes Wide Shut for similar reasons.

I am going to proceed to listen to the 5th in the Rome series, safe in the knowledge that Saul Reichlin is reading it, and hope that it will be much less gratuitous than this, the second.

I am aware that this has disturbed me much more than any of the violence in other books - this may be true for other female listeners.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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