Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new Italian mystery series!
A SEASON FOR THE DEAD is the first in a series of Italian crime thrillers set in Rome featuring Nic Costa as the protagonist. Costa, 27, is an atypical detective in the Rome Questura. He's a straight-laced, health conscious vegetarian and son of an infamous Communist party political organizer, who is dying. He has a passion for the works of Caravaggio.
Things get off...
Published on 5 Nov 2003 by Carlo Vennarucci

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A serial killer in Rome
I've not read `The Da Vinci Code', but given its immense success, I suppose that we can all expect lots of other thrillers to emerge which lean on strange and dodgy dealings in the Vatican. Not that this is a bad book, it's entertaining as long as you don't think about it too much, and certainly feels more of a book - and not a cinema script in waiting - than some of its...
Published 22 months ago by F.R. Jameson


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new Italian mystery series!, 5 Nov 2003
By 
Carlo Vennarucci (Berkeley, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Season for the Dead (Hardcover)
A SEASON FOR THE DEAD is the first in a series of Italian crime thrillers set in Rome featuring Nic Costa as the protagonist. Costa, 27, is an atypical detective in the Rome Questura. He's a straight-laced, health conscious vegetarian and son of an infamous Communist party political organizer, who is dying. He has a passion for the works of Caravaggio.
Things get off to a fast start with a grotesque double homicide in a Roman church with strong similarities to an historic martyr killing within the early Church. Because the victims had ties to beautiful university professor Sara Farnese, she is put under the protective police custody of young Costa. As the plot unfolds with more similar deaths, there is a frantic search for the heinous serial killer who appears to have ties to the Vatican. The Vatican connection is difficult to investigate because of the turf battles between the Questura and the Vatican authorities. The locations used within Rome are off the tourist track and give the reader a better understanding of the underbelly of this great city. The novel is fast moving and exciting with lots of violence and some sex; and there are some unexpected surprises near the end. It brought back memories of Hewson's first novel SEMANA SANTA.
Hewson has created an exceptional array of supporting characters, albeit a few too many were non-Italians. Within the Questura, there is Costa's new partner, Luca Rossi and their hard-nosed boss Leo Falcone. Falcone is disliked by everyone, but is honest and determined. Terese Lupo, the police pathologist, is one very busy lady as the death toll mounts. Within the Vatican, we meet security head Brendan Hanrahan and Cardinal Denney, who has been recently disgraced due to the failure of his corrupt Banca Lombardia. Minor characters include a lesbian parliamentarian from Bologna, an American tourist guide, an overweight TV commentator, a whore from Kosovo, and a patron of the arts with Mafia ties.
Assuming David Hewson continues with the Nic Costa character, I welcome him to the ranks of Donna Leon, Michael Dibdin, Andrea Camilleri and others who entertain us with their series of Italian mysteries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and entertaining read, 16 Oct 2005
By 
Rory Morty "Rory Morty" (Giessen, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is an enchanting and exciting mystery/thriller set in Rome. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and look forward to the coming sequel. The story is set around a series of bizarre and seemingly unlinked murders that take place throughout the city of Rome. Each murder is staged to resemble the martyrdom of one of the Catholic saints. The murders are initially investigated by detectives Costa and Rossi, from the Roman police. Gradually, it emerges that all of the victims have in common with one another some form of liaison with one of the lead characters, Professor Sara Farnese. But there is much more to come. Any more details from there on would be plot spoilers!
The story is liberally laced with evidence of corruption and cover-ups in the Catholic Church, and the Vatican. This theme is currently extensively explored the popular fiction category, however, this does not detract at all from ones enjoyment of the story. There are certain similarities to themes from Dan Brown's ANGELS AND DEMONS, however, these are two very different stories. I did feel through, that the descriptions of Rome and Roman churches were better handled by Brown. I particularly liked the theme of Caravaggio's paitings, which was woven into the storyline of A SEASON FOR THE DEAD; as well as the playful banter between the two lead detectives. My only real criticism of the story concerns the character development of Gino Fosse, one of the lead characters. We don't seem to know him at all, while we seem to know Costa, Rossi, Farnese and others very well by the end of the book. But, perhaps that was what the author intended? Three-and-a-half stars from me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read..., 13 Nov 2011
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's always a great pleasure to come across a well-written, intelligent crime book and to know that it's only the first of a series.

Young detective Nic Costa is first on the scene when a man is shot dead by Vatican security guards. Had he been about to shoot himself or murder his ex-lover, historian Sara Farnese? Nic is drawn into a complex plot involving banking, corruption, Vatican politics...and a lot of increasingly gruesome murders. There is a further complication for Nic when he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Sara.

Although the plot moves along at a fair pace, the author also takes time to let us get to know Nic. As the novel starts, he is still a little nave and idealistic but gradually he comes to recognise that people are not always what they seem. We meet his father, Marco, a communist and atheist, who has clearly been a huge influence on Nic's life and beliefs but who is now dying. This strand of the book is handled very well, never toppling over into sentimentality or mawkishness.

The Roman setting for the novel added an extra element of interest. Hewson painted a vivid picture of a tourist-filled city baking in the summer heat and of the simmering resentments between the Roman police and the autonomous Vatican state.

A very enjoyable read. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A serial killer in Rome, 27 Aug 2012
I've not read `The Da Vinci Code', but given its immense success, I suppose that we can all expect lots of other thrillers to emerge which lean on strange and dodgy dealings in the Vatican. Not that this is a bad book, it's entertaining as long as you don't think about it too much, and certainly feels more of a book - and not a cinema script in waiting - than some of its ilk. If and when they adapt this one for the cinema (or if the BBC gets another Wallander sized hole in its schedule) then it will actually require the script writer to do a bit of thinking to get there. He or she just won't spend a morning cutting and pasting before going off to the pub.

In Rome a serial killer strikes, killing the various lovers of a beautiful young women in much the same way as the early saints were martyred. But how is this killer connected to the beautiful young woman, and what does it have to do with the corrupt Cardinal hidden away in Vatican City? It's up to young, slim-hipped and cerebral cop, Nick Costa, to work it out.

One of the big twists I guessed quite early on in the proceedings, but this was still a divertingly gruesome and interesting read. How long it will live in the memory I don't know, but if I do ever come across the sequel so obviously set-up at the end, then I'd certainly pick it up for a look.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in the Nic Costa Series, 15 Mar 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
David Hewson is a weekly columnist for the Sunday times. As well as several novels he has also found the time to write a number of travel books. He lives in Kent.

David Hewson's books can, to a number of people appear to be extremely violent, some would say gratuitously so, but his books are after all thrillers and this is the first of what has become an increasingly popular series of books. I am sure that if this type of book is not your cup of tea, you will not buy it.

The book was first published in 2003 and is the first in the Nic Costa series The book opens in the Vatican. While a young woman is poring over ancient texts in one of the Vatican reading rooms, a brutal murder is taking place in a church close by. Suddenly the peace and tranquility of the Vatican is broken when a man enters carrying a blood soaked bag. He walks calmly to the young woman's desk. He has something he would like her to see . . .

The author's love of foreign places is evident by the number of travel books he has written and this comes through in the background to his books. Maybe it is my imagination but having them take place in Rome and Venice etc. makes them that much more readable than say London or Manchester. That however is simply my own opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in the Nic Costa Series, 27 Dec 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
David Hewson is a weekly columnist for the Sunday times. As well as several novels he has also found the time to write a number of travel books. He lives in Kent.

David Hewson's books can, to a number of people appear to be extremely violent, some would say gratuitously so, but his books are after all thrillers and this is the first of what has become an increasingly popular series of books. I am sure that if this type of book is not your cup of tea, you will not buy it.

The book was first published in 2003 and is the first in the Nic Costa series The book opens in the Vatican. While a young woman is poring over ancient texts in one of the Vatican reading rooms, a brutal murder is taking place in a church close by. Suddenly the peace and tranquility of the Vatican is broken when a man enters carrying a blood soaked bag. He walks calmly to the young woman's desk. He has something he would like her to see . . .

The author's love of foreign places is evident by the number of travel books he has written and this comes through in the background to his books. Maybe it is my imagination but having them take place in Rome and Venice etc. makes them that much more readable than say London or Manchester. That however is simply my own opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read!, 28 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is first book in the Nic Costa series. I enjoyed it but prefer the later Costa books. Hewson`s characters change and develop as the series wears on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 27 Mar 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I rather enjoyed this given I had not read Hewson before. I downloaded this as a cheapie along with 'The Killing' (my real target) but can honestly say I enjoyed the tension and the behind the (fictional) scenes of The Vatican City more than Dan Brown's missives. There is a certain amount of predictability around the main protaganists' relationships but doesn't detract. I enjoyed the young Nic Costa's detective character and will probably now read on to see if he's still as niaive and righteous in his next cases.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Hewson's detective, Nic Costa, sets the standards for Italian Crime Mysteries, 13 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I discovered David Hewson through Twitter, initially taking an interest in his tweets on technology and how he used it to optimise his writing experience. But, forever on the lookout for new crime fiction authors, I quickly delved into his website and discovered a treasure of books.

I downloaded a sample chapter onto my Kindle of the first in the series about Italian detective, Nic Costa - A Season For The Dead - but it wasn't long before I was buying the complete book. I later discovered that I already owned this book in paperback - it was sitting on a shelf, hidden within a crime fiction collection box and I was sorry I hadn't discovered it earlier.

I like David Hewson's style of writing - it's very detailed and descriptive and flows easily from the page. His knowledge and interest in religious art and history is used cleverly to draw the characters in and move the plot along, blending well with the narration. I didn't feel as though I was being given a factual lecture on the era when I was reading it and the way he describes places in Italy makes me want to visit there again.

Suffice to say, since reading a couple of Dan Brown books, including The Da Vinci Code, I'm not a keen fan of religious crime thrillers and if it hadn't have been for David Hewson's decriptive style of writing, I probably wouldn't have been drawn to this book. I did find the plotline a bit complex at first, but once I'd got to grips with the Italian names and places, I was absorbed into the story and characters and had to keep reading to find out what happened to them.

A Season For The Dead introduces young Italian detective, Nic Costa. The setting is present day Rome and the opening scene begins with a death in the library of the Vatican. In this book, there is murder and intrigue, romance and sex, history, art and religion; but best of all there is depth to the characters and I felt as though I knew these people by the time I finished reading.

This is not a `whodunnit' as the serial killer is revealed during the first half of the book. What is not revealed though is why and this becomes the mystery that drives the book to the surprise finale. Nic Costa comes across as a naive detective at the beginning of his career but the case impacts him and his family in more ways than one and by the time the book has finished, Nic had changed both as a man and a detective.

I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in the Nic Costa Series, 18 Jan 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Season for the Dead (Paperback)
David Hewson is a weekly columnist for the Sunday times. As well as several novels he has also found the time to write a number of travel books. He lives in Kent.

David Hewson's books can, to a number of people appear to be extremely violent, some would say gratuitously so, but his books are after all thrillers and this is the first of what has become an increasingly popular series of books. I am sure that if this type of book is not your cup of tea, you will not buy it.

The book was first published in 2003 and is the first in the Nic Costa series The book opens in the Vatican. While a young woman is poring over ancient texts in one of the Vatican reading rooms, a brutal murder is taking place in a church close by. Suddenly the peace and tranquility of the Vatican is broken when a man enters carrying a blood soaked bag. He walks calmly to the young woman's desk. He has something he would like her to see . . .

The author's love of foreign places is evident by the number of travel books he has written and this comes through in the background to his books. Maybe it is my imagination but having them take place in Rome and Venice etc. makes them that much more readable than say London or Manchester. That however is simply my own opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Season for the Dead
A Season for the Dead by David Hewson (Hardcover - Mar 2004)
Used & New from: 0.91
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews