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The Fallen Angel (Nic Costa #9)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  472 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Acclaimed author David Hewson returns with this mesmerizing new thriller featuring Nic Costa and the detectives of Rome’s Questura. This time Costa must solve a case with roots buried deep in one of the ancient city’s most infamous episodes—a story of incest, murder, and martyrdom.

It’s August in Rome, and Nic Costa’s vacation is about to be cut short by a scream, a girl c
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Renee Alarid
Apr 07, 2011 Renee Alarid rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads and I have to say that I wish I knew about this series and the author before I read the novel because I know that I have probably missed some very valuable insight on the characters and the back-story of the book.

With that said, The Fallen Angel intrigued me from the start. I love murder mysteries and this was not a disappointment! Mr. Hewson made me want to get to know the characters and why or why not they were apart of the novel. The novel wa
Nov 20, 2010 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC, to be published February 4, 2011.
This book was send to me by EASON Book Club for me to review.

This is the ninth book in the Nic Costa series and before I begin my review I have to admit that I didn't read any of the previous titles.
The story starts with Rome detective Nic Costa being the first person on the scene when British acadamic Malise Gabriel falls to his death from an appartment, where he finds the death man being craddled by his young daughter Mina. From that first moment onwards C
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing
On the last weekend of August Nic Costa is sitting on a bench on the Garibaldi Bridge in Rome with Agata Graziano, when he is attracted by a commotion and sees a pyjama clad girl with blood on her sitting next to a body on the ground, saying in English ‘Daddy’. The papers the next day report the tragic accident of British academic Malise Gabriel who fell to his death from a Rome apartment.

But Nic Costa senses that something is wrong, and that this is not a simple accident. The girl Mina brings
Jun 28, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing

Every time I read a book by David Hewson I wonder how it is that THE DAVINCI CODE was a best seller. I wonder how the blockbuster movie on which it was based was so successful. Neither has a plot, an interesting character, or anything that suggests it is something other than a cartoon.

On the other hand -

David Hewson has created three of the most interesting and diverse characters to ever grace a page. Nic Costa, just thirty at the beginning of THE FALLEN ANGEL, Gianni Peroni, his partner, and Le
Barry Stoch
Nov 23, 2016 Barry Stoch rated it really liked it
This is the second of the Nic Costa series that I have read. I quite enjoyed both of them!

Wonderfully paced, with great character development, and the occasional plot twist made for entertaining reading. If you enjoy the detective murder mystery genre, I would definitely would recommend as being worth the read
Kathy Davie
Jun 01, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, history

Ninth in the Nic Costa mystery series set in contemporary Rome, Italy.

The Story
Nic is fascinated with the history of Rome as well as its art and in Fallen Angel we get a double helping with the tale of the injustice done to Beatrice Cenci by the Church in 1599. Accused of plotting the murder of her pedophiliac father with her mother and brother, the three of them are tortured into confessing and executed for not accepting the father and his friends' attentions.

The relevance is the similarity tha
I was very excited to get this book as an ARC. I'm always looking for a good suspense novel, and its clear David Hewson knows how to write them!

The Fallen Angel manages to have a constant stream of plot twists that keep you guessing and an ending you wont expect, but despite all the times you try to wrap your head around the ending, once you get there you'll say "Of course!". Althought, let me warn you (in a good way), you may have the "of course" moment twice! Hewson has quite a twist planned
Suspense Magazine
Oct 12, 2011 Suspense Magazine rated it it was amazing
This ninth Nic Costa book follows closely on the heels of “City of Fear.” Nic's present adventure takes the reader deep into Rome, not only into the complex family life of the man, Gabriel, who has apparently plunged to his death from a faulty scaffold, but deep into the ancient Cenci family and the mythology that surrounds that fateful clan.
Three days into his August holiday, Nic comes upon a young English girl, Mina Gabriel, bending over her father’s dead form. The similarities to Beatrice Ce
Jan 29, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
When I began reviewing books in August last year, one of my main goals was to challenge myself and explore titles I wouldn’t normally read – on the whole I think I’ve done quite well but I need to do better as an old and inspirational teacher once said to me! - Think outside the box lad!

With that in mind I received an ARC of David Hewson’s “The Fallen Angel” from Pan Macmillan a few weeks ago and although a crime thriller and well within my comfort zone – it was my first Italian mystery and one
Ilaria Meliconi
Mar 05, 2011 Ilaria Meliconi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a native Italian I can be very picky when it comes to novels set in Italy, and I was really looking forward to this, my first read in the Nic Costa series.

The story starts with the untimely death of Malise Gabriel, a British academic living in Rome, an event which initially seems an accident but soon it emerges it might be all but. The dysfunctional family of the deceased are hiding something from the police and investigator Nic Costa, who is captivated by the mystery and naivety Malise’s te
Blair McDowell
Feb 15, 2013 Blair McDowell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews, favorites
I am an avid detective story fan, especially when the story is set in a place I love and the detective involved is thoughtful, insightful and intelligent – someone I would enjoy knowing outside the pages of a book. Donna Leon’s Venetian detective Guido Brunetti is the prime example I have encountered thus far in this genre. So when I compare David Hewson’s Roman police officer, Nic Costa, favorably to Leon’s Commissario Brunetti, it is the highest praise I can offer. Such books and such characte ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-modern
C2011: This was a random pick from the library for me and what a seductive book this is. The writing starts off at a slow meandering and languorous pace to match the pace of life in a hot and humid Rome in August. Then plots, suspects and action start to take place at a rapid speed. Bewildering for the detectives on the case and bewildering for the reader. I thought I had guessed it towards the end, then I changed my mind and I certainly did not expect the ending. In the middle of the book, I ha ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime
As a teen, Rome detective Nic Costa was fascinated with the sensational story of Beatrice Cenci, a young woman who in the 16th century was executed for killing her abusive father. Now Nic, on "stay-cation" and thus off duty, witnesses the fall of Malise Gabriel from the scaffolding of his apartment, very close to Palazzo Cenci, Beatrice's home. Nic comforts the dead man's young daughter, Mina, and while the Questura initially believes the death was accidental, they gradually begin to suspect fou ...more
Sue G
Dec 28, 2010 Sue G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book gets down to business pretty quickly, with the death of a British academic who has been living in Rome with his family. Investigation of the mysterious death stalls when his family seems to be reluctant to contribute to the investigation, however Costa develops a friendship with the dead man’s daughter which provides him with an insight into their relationships.

A feature of Hewson’s books is the blending of modern Rome with historical aspects – in this case the story of the Cenci family
Mar 06, 2012 Sylence rated it it was amazing
So far i have read just about everything David Hewson has written and I love all of the books. This one is no exception. One of the reasons i like his books is that it keeps me guessing. Im never sure how it is going to turn out and you really become invested in the characters, both the recurring ones as well as the latest "victims". I also love that it takes place in Italy, usually around Rome and peppers the stories with historical references and obscure artists. It always makes me go look up ...more
May 11, 2011 Francois rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A plot rich with a potentially fascinating subject (the faith of a contemporary British teen in Rome which apparently mirrors that of another teen several centuries earlier in the same city) with undercurrents of sex, incest and murder lets you expect a book with deep and engrossing historical and philosophical observations and speculations.

Personally I was bitterly disappointed, I have to admit. In the novel, Costa, the main character complains of the cheap treatment of the affair by the medias
Jan 10, 2014 Judy added it
I am partway through this book, my second David Hewson mystery. I thought it started off slow and was less gripping than the Hewson I read previously (featuring a Caravaggio painting) but The Fallen Angel became more interesting at approximately the 200 page mark.

I especially like the way Hewson weaves the history of Rome and day-to-day life in modern Rome and its neighbourhoods into his stories. He reminds me of Donna Leon in that they both seem to capture Italian life authentically.

Hewson's w
Apr 19, 2011 Rick rated it it was amazing
Wow. Thank you Goodreads for the ARC. This was a great book. If it is not at the top of best seller lists for a long time I will be surprised and disappointed. I think this book is as good as, if not better than the "The girl who..." books that have been best sellers for weeks now.

The first 50 pages or so were a little slow for me. The authors sentence structure was awkward for me at first and I had to re-read sentences. Also I do not know much about things Roman or Italian. Once I got used to t
Apr 08, 2011 Miriam rated it it was ok
Things I liked: Character development; plot complexity and final surprises (I really was surprised by some things); detailed depiction of place; interesting new knowledge I gained about Roman history and mythology.

Things I didn't like so much: slow pacing at first, which was a bit boring; dark themes; a few too many gritty details. This kind of mystery isn't my favorite--I like my mysteries a bit cleaner; I like them to be more about character and logic than about blood and guts.

However, this
Jan 04, 2012 Kandice rated it really liked it
I have read all of the Nic Costa series, and Hewson just keeps getting better and better. His character development is excellent with his characters growing and developing throughout the series. The stories have a depth that you don't often find in mysteries. And the stories are always artistically rendered and leave you thinking long after you finish reading.

In this book, a father falls to his death after being alone with his daughter. As more and more comparisons are made between this family
Apr 20, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
I always enjoy mysteries that keep me second-guessing - even until the end - and even when I know I'll never get it right. For much of this novel, I thought I had already figured out the secrets behind the real crime. All I have to say is, thank you David Hewson, for bringing me back to Earth (small pun intended).

Although this one started out slower than usual for me (and I'm still not sure how I feel about Agata Graziano), the novel definitely picked up and explored a new mature side to Nic. T
Apr 04, 2015 Ken rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, italy
One of the best Hewson books. An unusual mystery, just frustrating enough to keep the reader moving along the discovery process through the streets of Rome. At the end, a challenging resolution and reflections on the nature of evil. We all participate in evil and still maintain our illusions of goodness. We choose both--doing evil and believing in good. Is it because we are naive or because we are willful? Is it part of our mundane lives, coping with our own problems as best we can? Or is it par ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok
The theme of incest and multiple ways of solving the mystery are rather Chandleresque, but Hewson's writing is sentimental and wordy. I chose The Fallen Angel because it is based on the much-embroidered 16th-century tale of Beatrice dei Cenci, a teenager whom the Vatican executed for the crime of patricide. Hewson fills the book with his research on this young woman who fired up Guido Reni, Shelley, Stendhal, Dumas, Moravia and Artaud, and takes us on a dangerous scooter ride through the piazzas ...more
May 10, 2011 Pam rated it really liked it
Second of the Nic Costa novels I've read. Really did like this so I think I'll go back to the beginning (this is #9 in the series...other I read was 'in Venice'...of COURSE) and see how this team of charcters all started. I liked the mystery, too...although I wonder if this is typical that 'all comes out' in one big swoosh of reveal (from things we didn't and couldn't know). Oh well. Maybe that is not the point. Nice writing and terrific characters for me (not especially 'Italian' ...but again, ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Graham rated it it was ok
Picked up in a charity bookshop I realised that this was not a standalone but the ninth book in the series. Hohum. But the characters were a bit cardboard: with Montelbano, you have the silly interplay with Caterella, with Wallender and Harry Hole you have the competent bleakness of Scandicrime, with the Larsson trilogy you have sexy geekiness and a huge plot. But in this book there was no humour, no gosh! moments, and it was all a bit predictable really. The redeeming features were that the aut ...more
Judi Niermann
Apr 07, 2011 Judi Niermann rated it really liked it
I was privileged to receive a free copy of this book from Goodreads.
Since it was free, I didn't expect much. Boy, was I mistaken.
This is a complicated murder mystery set in Rome. It's the ninth Nic Costa novel, so I guess I have some back reading to do! The book is not idealistic. Every character has very human flaws and strengths.
The first chapter started slow for me. It took awhile for me to pick up the rhythm of the prose and get my bearings in the streets of Rome. I now want to go the res
Apr 19, 2011 Todd rated it liked it
Mysteries (of various formats and style) are becoming quite a guilty pleasure of mine, perhaps, in part, due to the reasons many people like them: mental exercise, twists, analysis, etc.

I wasn't familiar with this series, so it took me a little longer to get into it than may have been expected, otherwise. I admit that it felt a little dry or obvious at the start, but, with time, that changed.

I was gripped for the last 2/3 of the book, and went through it quickly. It turned pretty dark at times,
Sharon Burgin
Nov 02, 2011 Sharon Burgin rated it it was amazing
Another example of good story telling by David Hewson. As this is the ninth book in the series the characters are well developed and you have a picture of the main your mind's eye. Hewson has spent a lot of time researching his stories over the last couple of books as there is a lot of historical and factual details in them, but not too much that it makes you want to skip paragraphs!
As I have visited Rome several times, I see myself following Nic along the streets on his vespa.

Where's book 10? I
Emma Radford
Aug 04, 2014 Emma Radford rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller/crime novel and especially thought the end twist was good. Parts of the plot/character did seem a little cliche but other parts felt more original. The setting of Rome, I felt, was interesting and lent a different tone to the police investigation with some interesting use of culture and history. I found Nic Costa a little annoying at times but there were a variety of character personalities to keep up interest levels. I enjoyed this as a fairly gr

Again Hewson weaves history and art into his story. It captivated me from the start. I have grown to love these characters and very glad that I read the series in order seeing how events and time has changed them.

I know I shall be very sad if this turns out to be the last in the series now that David Hewson's attention is elsewhere with the highly anticipated novels based on 'The Killing' series.

Still, I felt this was one of the best in the series, so if proves a swan song for Nic and his pals
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DAVID HEWSON was born in Yorkshire in 1953. He has written sixteen novels, as well as several travel books. Until 2005 he was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times until becoming a full-time author. David lives in Kent but visits Italy frequently. All 11 of his Italian books are now in development as TV movies.

* Nic Costa
More about David Hewson...

Other Books in the Series

Nic Costa (10 books)
  • A Season For The Dead (Nic Costa, #1)
  • The Villa Of Mysteries (Nic Costa, #2)
  • The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa, #3)
  • The Lizard's Bite (Nic Costa, #4)
  • The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa, #5)
  • The Garden Of Evil (Nic Costa, #6)
  • Dante's Numbers (Nic Costa, #7)
  • The Blue Demon (Nic Costa, #8)
  • Carnival For The Dead (Nic Costa, #10)

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“It's so much easier to define crime than it is to put your finger on justice.” 1 likes
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