Monday, 8 April 2013

My Review of 'The Sacred Cut' by David Hewson

The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa, #3)The Sacred Cut by David Hewson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sacred Cut is the second book I’ve read in David Hewson’s Detective series, and I must say I enjoyed it even more than the first. Hewson’s characters are finely drawn and consistent from book to book. He is a master at characterization. His “shorter than the usual cop”, Nic Costa, is a vegetarian, non-smoking, Roman policeman who lives alone on a farm out of the city on the Appian Way. Nic is a personality who sticks with you, as does his side-kick, Gianni Peroni.

The story is set in December in Rome, during a rare frigid snow storm. The descriptions of the Pantheon with snow swirling down through the hole at its apex, of fountains with their spurting water frozen in the mouths of dolphins, of airports closed and streets empty of traffic are vivid. And into this setting, Hewson places a young Kurdish girl, (a child who lives through pick-pocketing), an obnoxious CIA agent, a rogue mercenary soldier gone a little mad, and an assortment of other interesting characters. There are a series of grisly murders to solve, and the usual Italian problems with corrupt officials along the way.

The Sacred Cut is a book that keeps one reading. It is easy to draw comparisons with Donna Leon’s masterful Venetian detective series, but I must say that Hewson’s writing is quite different from Leon’s. While Nic Costa’s Rome is as finely drawn as Brunetti’s Venice, Hewson’s stories, gleaned from the two I’ve read, are darker and the resolutions are perhaps a little more satisfactory.

I highly recommend The Sacred Cut to all lovers of a good detective story and to all armchair travelers who love Rome.

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Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.  

To purchase one of these books, just click on the book link below and select the vendor of your choice.

 • The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family.  It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.

"The Memory of Roses by Blair McDowell is simply an incredibly lovely story. It’s also a love story, and a story about finding yourself, and about closure. The theme running through the book is “all’s well that ends well.”  --  Marlene, Reading Reality

 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!

"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews

 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations 
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 

It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

“I found Sonata to be a charming novel that left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a delight to read.” – Night Owl Reviews

 Abigails Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?

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Blair McDowell