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The Villa Of Mysteries (Nic Costa #2)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  947 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
When a young woman turns up dead in a peat bog near the banks of the River Tiber, Teresa, a maverick pathologist, thinks she’s got the victim of an ancient Roman ritual on her hands. She’s wrong. Leo Falcone, the chief inspector, knows this case is recent history and the horror is still very much alive. So begins an investigation that will take the police deep into the dar ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published 2003)
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Kenny Brouwers
Oct 11, 2014 Kenny Brouwers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought the Dutch translation of the book, but it didn't read well. Usually I tend to read a book in its native language, but I bought this book cheap.

I liked it at first, but later on I lost compassion and feeling with the characters. They are a bit too shallow and cliché for me. I lost interest in the story quickly and now I've decided to stop reading and hand the book over to my mom.
Dec 29, 2014 Rogerio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps too many twists for a normal thriller. Nothing special for this book, not even a main character (Costa or Perroni? or Teresa? or Falcone?) None of them lead enough.
Evander v
Jan 28, 2017 Evander v rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: david-hewson
More like 3.5. He pointed out the black character's race while we are just to assume everyone else is white, that's one thing, but did we really have to read about his "black hands", "black figure", "black face", etc., every few paragraphs? Seriously.
Ann Tonks
Good solid thriller with a range of interesting characters on both sides of the moral fence. The sense of Rome is strong and even thought the twists and turns of the novel sometimes feel overly complex, it's still an enjoyable read.
Aug 31, 2013 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2013
Mobsters and Bacchanalian cults…

When a preserved body is found in a peat bog, it looks as if the dead girl is a long-forgotten victim of a ritual killing from ancient times. But forensic examination soon proves the death is much more recent than that, leading to speculation that a cult based on the Bacchanalian mythology is active in present day Rome. And to make matters worse, another young girl has just gone missing in similar circumstances, a few days before the ancient ceremony of Liberalia,
Rogue Reader
A bit dense (or I am) with Latin, liturgy and religious history but a good read overall, plunging into Roman ruins and mythologies of modern Italy.
Jan 16, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
I was so looking forward to reading this, after ejoying HEwson's Lucifer's shadow, but it turned out to be a crime thriller, set in Italy, but without tantalizing tidbits of food and wine that so many books include. The plot was not too bad-- a bit lame in some places, but there was a final twist I didn't expect.

"In Rome's crowded Campo dei Fiori, a woman rushes up to two carabinieri lounging in their sunglasses and uniforms, insisting that her sixteen-year-old daughter has jus
Apr 12, 2009 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction and Police Procedural Fans
I generally enjoy Hewson's Costa/Peroni books but this one dragged quite a bit. Good thing I didn't read this one first.

The story opens with two seemingly unrelated incidents, a buried body in a marsh outside Ostia and a kidnapping in the Campo dei Fiori. So Nic Costa and Gianni Peroni begin an investigation that takes them deep into modern Rome' underworld. Nic's trying to recover from drinking too much and Gianni, ex-vice cop, trying to recoup his reputation after being caught in one of his o
Jun 05, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detectives
Really good read, didn't take long to get into it but did drag out a bit in the end. A good detective/ murder mystery and I like the fact that it didn't revolve around one cop like a lot of murder books do. You had the Tessa the Pathologist, Nic Costa the dective, his partner, their boss, the mother of the 'murder/kindnap victim' etc etc. So yeah that was great then add in a few Italian and American gangsters and you have a good book....

Add in murders revolving around the ancient rites of bacchu
This is one of those books where the fly leaf builds up the book in a completely different way from how it actually happens. Although Nic Costa is supposed to be the main character, I found him a minor player in this - although of course he is the one who gets in trouble during the climax of the book. I really liked his partner Gianni Peroni - his character was built well! Teresa Lupo, the pathologist, was also supposed to be a major character. She did do a lot, but her relationship with the oth ...more
May 10, 2009 Christian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Now here is the opposite of what Archer Mayor inaccessible series. I am not sure if it was the fact that there were so many assumptions that you had read other books in the series, they way it read as if it had been translated from another language using one of those semi-poor free translation sites, the confusing array of characters or the fact that it took place in a legal/police system so different from our own but I finally gave up trying to slog my way through this.

I saw a newer
Nov 07, 2007 Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
If you love a good mystery and you've ever been to Rome, David Hewson's books are a must read. His prose can be dense at times, but once you get to know his central characters, Roman detectives Nick Costa and Gianni Peroni, you want to know more and more about them. Start here, with The Villa of the Mysteries. It follows a dark secret cult through Pompeii and gets you hooked on these detectives' unorthodox styles of crimefighting. He has been building this cast of characters for years, you will ...more
THE VILLA OF MYSTERIES (Police Procedural-Rome-Cont) – G
David Hewson – 2nd in series
Macmillan, 2004 – U.K. Hardcover
Detective Nic Costa is investigating the apparent kidnapping of a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to a body found in a peat bog. Because of the dress and items found with the body, the pathologist first thinks the corpse is 2000 years old, but Nic proves the murder to have been much more current and is afraid history is about to repeat itself.
*** Although there’s an i
Jan 04, 2008 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
I picked this book up as an unknown author based on the jacket blurb. Now we all know how trustworthy those are - "stupendous....enchanting....marvelous" I've not yet seen one that said "go read something else". But taking a chance expecting I could always give it up if it stunk. I have to say this was a real find. I really enjoyed the characters, at times there seemed almost too many to keep track of, but they were multidimensional and engaging. The plot was good and didn't wander. I would reco ...more
The second in the Nic Costa series and an improvement over the first book, just not sure if it's enough to keep me interested in the series. I did like the addition of the fallen vice cop as a character and really appreciated more attention focused on Crazy Teresa. Just not warming up to the main character though I'm not sure why. Maybe because all his character seems to do is sleep with beautiful, creepy women. He doesn't seem to do much besides that. So far both books are on the dark side, whi ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Fahima rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mysterious events behind an ancient mythical cult that sparks interest to some people in Italy who wish to reenact it crudely and perversely. Some things go wrong, facts and events and some memories of it get buried over time until a dead girl shows up and makes the police dig up events of the past.

Ive read better novel. Beginning is engaging but makes you loose interest easily. A bit dragging and just an ok climax. If you've got nothing else to read, its worth your time. A little below average.
Jan 04, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-mystery, 7-09, 2010
In David Hewson's The Villa of Mysteries, the 2nd installment in the Nic Costa series, this was another fantastic mystery set in Italy. Nic Costa joined forces with Teresa Lupo, a forensic pathologist, to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl at the carabineri . When they looked into the missing girl's family, including her seductive mother, they've noticed the resemblance of a similar case of another missing girl who's mummified corpse had just been discovered by Nic and Teresa, when ...more
Matthew Frary
Feb 27, 2010 Matthew Frary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
David Hewson brings back Detective Nic Costa in this continuing series. Nic has lost his father and is recovering mentally and physically as well as trying to dry-out. He has a new partner who at first seems very rough around the edges but turns out to be a pretty good guy.
The story revolves around a sixteen year-old body discovered in a peat marsh which unravels into a strange sex-crazed party involving the Italian and American mobs. A very good and interesting read.
Jan 24, 2009 Chana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Depraved, debauched, debased. The writing was inconsistent and confusing and sometimes just outright bad. It all starts with Romulus and Remus, and then centuries later there was this party (go ask Alice) that sets more trouble in motion. Although the characters and writing are pitifully inconsistent, the one thing the writer does well is surprises. One last thought: If this story was anything to go by; gangsters shouldn't have kids, they make terrible (!) parents.
Sep 08, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I will give this series another try because I really liked the protagonists - Nic, Theresa, etc. But the bad guys were unpleasant reading. I know, I know, they are bad guys. I'm not supposed to like them. But mobsters just don't do it for me. And the plot was borderline preposterous. And what about the couple that found the body at the beginning of the book?! Way too much about them if they are just going to disappear from the story. Of course they weren't likeable either.
Alan Williams
May 07, 2011 Alan Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I started reading the Nic Costa series past half way, and have gone back to the beginning to catch up with those i've missed.

A tale of ritual murder, the mafia and dark crimes this is one of the best in the series.

I judge a good book by one that I read in every spare moment, and this one is one of those.

The setting is bought alive by David Hewson's knowledge of Rome and this makes the crimes even more real.
Oct 18, 2011 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, 2011
I love the way Rome itself is such a character in this novel. This book is earlier in the series than the one I previously read and it is easy to see how the characters have developed over the interim. This story also concerns a teenage girl but is different enough so that there is no confusion.
Jun 03, 2008 Juliek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my. This is not my normal genre. I picked it up because I'm on an Italy kick... reading everything I can set in or about Rome and Amalfi.

It's a detective story set in Rome with a gruesome plot. For some reason I actually enjoyed the book... this is the kinda movie I would watch with Stephen but never see on my own.
Reetta Saine
Jan 06, 2012 Reetta Saine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, 2012
Tuli luettua Costat väärässä järjestyksessä, mikä on suhteellisen ennenkuulumatonta.

Rooma on paikallaan, mafia-jutut mielenkiintoisia ja lopulta päädytään irstaisiin myytteihin ja Dionysos-kulttiin saakka. Naisten syyllistäminen olisi huolestuttanut, jos sitä kolmosta ei olisi tullut luettua jo aikaisemmin.

Aion tulevaisuudessa lukea KAIKKI Moreenin julkaisemat dekkarit. Aah.
Di Turner
I must admit that one of the main characters - Nic Costa is just not clicking with me, he seems to spend most of his time feeling sorry for himself. I'll see if he grows on me for a couple more of these books before I give up - these books are certainly not as entertaining as the Pendergast series by Preston & Child.
Jul 22, 2010 Vivienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

I didn't find this quite as strong as the first book in the Nic Costa series. Probably 3.5 stars rather than 4 but still quite a page-turner.

Hewson's use of ancient rituals and some truly macabre scenes engaged my interest. An engaging main character and supporting cast certainly means I shall be continuing to read this series.
Salla Erho
Jan 13, 2015 Salla Erho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit
Ilahduttava uusi tuttavuus, Roomaan sijoittuva dekkarisarja ja varsin kiinnostava päähenkilö Nic Costa. Luin vahingossa tämän toisen osan ekana ja sen jälkeen kaksi muuta suomennettua putkeen. Johtuneeko siitä, että tämä kakkososa teki suurimmman vaikutuksen. Mutta tulen kyllä lukemaan Nic Costat jatkossakin...
Sep 15, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too bad. The theme of this book seems to be the character's flaws as they all face up to them whilst chasing down the bad guys. Not quite as good as the first Nic Costs book but enough to keep me riveted.

A surprising twist at the end of the book, which is always interesting.
I liked this book. I liked the fact that it was set in Rome with echoes of the past. The characters of the police and pathologists differed, although they all wanted to catch the criminal. I did not guess the ending until it was almost spelled out for me.
May 30, 2009 Evie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating! A good detective read (Nic Costa, Italian detective), mixture of history, Italian police culture, a book I didn't want to put down...then I wanted to move on to the next one just to see what happens to Detective Costa and all the other interesting, somewhat gritty characters.
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The Villa Of Mysteries 1 4 Oct 23, 2013 08:00PM  
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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 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)
  • The Fallen Angel (Nic Costa, #9)
  • Carnival For The Dead (Nic Costa, #10)

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