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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 November 2008
I was introduced to David Hewson through his Rome series of modern detective stories. Lucifer's Shadow is rather different in that it interweaves two parallel stories: one in the present day and the other nearly 300 years earlier. As with other of Hewson's books there's been a lot of research into the history, in this case, of Venice intermingled with interesting facts about art and music. I thought the author deftly switched between the two stories gradually drawing them together. There is strong narrative drive to the book that keeps one reading.
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on 17 September 2001
A complex plot that is colourful but laced with darkness, sense of detail, and place. Venice is portrayed intensely, playing on the mystique and charms that hide an ugly underside. Hewson is never indulgent, post modern, or looking for awards, which is the mistake of most 'intelligent' cotemporary fiction these days - yet, the book is detailed, and works on many levels. There are two storylines coursing through the book, both in Venice, one in the 18th Century and the other modern day. The two intertwine in ways that are difficult to put your finger on at first - and develop into something pleasing, intelligent and ultimately quite dark. The characters are intriguing - Daniel is an interesting one, as is Scacchi, never mind Massiter. Don't rush this book or you won't enjoy it. Classical music sounds different to me now - and the themes of dark, light, music and Venice make for a very pleasant journey -but don't get yourself too comfortable...! I took a lot away with me from it - and my perception changed in some ways, which makes it a true work of art. This author deserves more recognition...
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on 14 August 2001
Lucifers Shadow is a compelling read, the book has a fairly complex intriging plot with evolving characters. It is constant and fast paced building to a satisfying climax. The ending has multiple facets and twists that you can't predict. The book is hard to follow at times however, due to the two story lines running parallel to each other centuries apart. A book not for the feint hearted ! It recreates an enticing yet also realistic view of venice. Well worth reading and the best book I have read in a long time, but you really do have to engage the old grey matter to get the most out of the plot.
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on 17 May 2010
Like the other 1 star rated review, I too bought this thinking it was a new title that I had not yet read from David Hewson. I really love this author and eagerly await every book he writes but was bitterly dissapointed when I realised that this was 'Cemetary of Secrets' It has taught me a lesson though, I shall always now read the synopsis before making my ever so easy one click order.
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on 22 July 2013
found parts of it hard work but we got there always want to broaden our scope of modern writers thanks
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on 20 October 2001
I bought this after its mention on Radio 3, and found it increasingly annoying as it went on. There's a certain amount of research shown off about Venice and its districts, but nothing you couldn't get from a Michael Dibdin crime thriller. The so-called 'double helix' plot is, in fact, two rather similar and intensely melodramatic stories, told in parallel and both VERY ponderously, with the result that you have to wait twice as long for things to start happening. The author tries to keep up the interest by endlessly reminding us how sinister everything is - something he does with zero subtelty. As for a twist, long before the end it's obvious who the bad guys are, and the mess of loose ends and inconsistencies is unpardonable. But most intolerable of all is the book's execrable dialogue: everybody talks in a hearty bravado way (especially the Venetian natives) and the attempts at modernizing the 18th century argot are truly painful. Best part of the book? The map.
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on 14 October 2009
I haven't read it yet, but be careful - I bought David Hewson's "The Cemetery of Secrets" at the same time and this is exactly the same book but with a completely different title. I don't know why they do this, but it is most infuriating, not to mention a waste of money.
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on 10 May 2016
Very good.
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