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The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa #3)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  922 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
The snow is falling on the ancient streets of Rome. And in the heart of the city, under the Pantheon�s great dome, a woman�s body lies on the marble floor, carefully positioned with a gruesome carving on her back....In David Hewson�s ingenious new thriller, this horrific murder hurtles Rome�s police force into a collision with U.S. agents�and a secret that has fe ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jan 25, 2009 el_quijote rated it really liked it
The Sacred Cut

Again, I have walked into the middle of a suspense mystery writer’s series. So I won’t try to recapitulate the characters or the story. What I will say is David Hewson is a fine writer. He develops characters extremely well. He writes for an intelligent audience. This book was set in Rome and was full of artistic and architectural detail. And he can tell a damn fine tale. All of which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the story and recommend it.

The only down side of this novel was it sho
Matthew Clifford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think so far this is my least favourite of the Nic Costa series. I have read 4 of them. I would suggest that this could be a case of an author starting well and then fading with a hero that they should have stopped writing about, but I have read Books 1-3 (this is book 3) and book 5 (I read them out of order) and book 5 was actually my favourite, so perhaps this is not the case.

I found I did not really engage with this story. I don;t know if it was the use of American secret services in this
Jul 27, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sacred Cut by David Hewson was published in 2005, but I just found it. The setting is Rome and it is snowing like it has not snowed for twenty years. Nic Costa and Gianni are plainclothes policemen working five days before Christmas with a photographer when suddenly the photographer is shot and dies in front of the Pantheon. When they see a figure running out, they go inside and find a naked woman lying on geometric slabs, legs and arms akimbo, her skin waxy. Her limbs were outstretched like ...more
Antoine Van Der Hulst

Voor het eerst sinds lange rijd wordt Rome geteisterd door een sneeuwstorm. Tijdens dit noodweer krijgt de politie een inbraakmelding vanuit het Pantheon. Wanneer de rechercheurs Nic Costa en Gianni Peroni bij de oude Romeinse tempel aankomen, treffen zij een gruwelijk tafereel aan. Onder de zacht neerdalende sneeuw ligt het vreselijk toegetakelde lichaam van een vrouw. De verminkingen verwijzen naar de Vitruviaanse Man van Leonardo Da Vinci, een mysterieus symbool dat alles te maken heeft met d

Nov 08, 2014 Rogerio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blair McDowell
Apr 01, 2013 Blair McDowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good detective stories and armchair travelers
Shelves: favorites
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
Rossrn Nunamaker
The Sacred Cut was the first book I'd read by David Hewson and apparently it is the third of seven Nic Costa detective books. My benchmark for detective books is the Arkady Renko series by Martin Cruz Smith. I didn't get to know Costa the same way I did Renko. There was some information, and maybe if I go back and read them in order I'd better understand the character. Having said that it was a decent read, but not great.

Costa and his partner, Gianni Peroni, are on-duty before Christmas in Rome
Apr 12, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Thrillers, Police Procedurals, Recent historical fiction
Recommended to Ed by: Tom Trier
This is my first Hewson Novel. It starts fast but drags at the end. In fact, I believe he could have made the book fifty pages shorter and had a better story.

I don't need to be told all the details of what happens to the characters after the bad guy is caught as was done in this book. I'd rather leave most of that that to my imagination and if it's important in a subsequent volume in the series, tell me in a prologue to that story. Daniel Silva is a master at doing just that.

Hewson's character d
Lupe Dominguez
So I feel like I should have read the other two Nic Costa books just to get a better feel of the main characters and their back stories, but I don't think I missed much starting here. That being said, I LOVED this cop mystery. It reminded me of others that I have read but was still very refreshing. I thought I had pin pointed the killer (and I did, which was kind of a bummer, that it happened so quickly) but the author definitely had a reason for it because the string puller was a shocker in the ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Jill rated it liked it

I was given this book by a friend who recommended it as a thriller/mystery. That is exactly what this book is. Evidently David Hewson has several books that follow one character: Nic Costa, who is a police detective in Rome.

In this book, a body is found during a crazy snow storm with an ancient symbol carved into its back. You soon find out that this is the most recent in a string of similar murders and it is up to Costa, his partner Peroni, and a female F
May 19, 2011 jazz-ee2 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was a little like the Da Vinci Code (which I actually really enjoyed - whilst not taxing, it was a good pacy thriller / conspiracy theory). Only this wasn't as good. I got confused by the characters and plot, which cycled between Rome, England, Afghanistan/Iraq and US (I think - as I said, I kept getting lost!). It was quite a slog, but I did manage to get to the end, and I must admit there were some sections which kept me wanting more, just not that many.

Something in the blurb must have dr
Dec 03, 2013 Jemina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nic Costa -dekkareiden kolmososa näyttää Roomasta vaihteeksi talvisemman puolen. Luminen maisema tuo tarinaan mukavaa kontrastia, mutta itse juoni jää aiempia Hewsonin jännäreitä ohuemmaksi.

Poliisikaksikko Nic Costa ja Gianni Peroni löytävät Pantheonista ruumiin - ja tulevat samalla melkein ammutuiksi. Iskevä alku kirjalle, mutta sen jälkeen eksytään patologisen osaston käytäville ja poliisihierarkioihin sen verran pitkästyttävästi, että veto pääsee hiipumaan.

Kaiken kaikkiaan hyvin amerikkalaine
In David Hewson's The Sacred Cut, the third installment in the Nic Costa series, it was winter in Rome, when Nic Costa discovered another shocking mystery. A woman's body was laid down on the marble floor of the Pantheon's great dome with a carving on her back. His only witness disappeared into the night, when he discovered the victim was an American woman. That's when U.S. agents descended on the scene and told Nic and the others, the killer had struck before. One of the agents was named Emily ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Anita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's an OK read. It started out on a good premise, but didn't quite deliver. This is how it begins: The body of a woman is found in the Pantheon, mutilated by some diagram carved into her back, and the body arranged in semblance to the diagram of the Vitruvian Man. So here I am looking for an enigmatic read, full of symbolism and mystery -- instead it leans towards inter-agency politics and jurisdiction. The plot does unfold in due course, but because of the heavy lean, took the wind out of the ...more
Carolyn Watson
A dead woman is found naked in the center of the Parthenon positioned like Davinci's Vitruvian Man. Before Inspector Costa and his partner, Gianni Peroni, can discover much, the case is taken over by the FBI and the Italian Secret Service. It is soon apparent that the murderer is a serial killer on the loose. So, Costa and Gianni run a parallel secret investigation in order to avoid further blood shed in Rome. It is a good read, but the end is unrealistic as the officers are not punished for th ...more
John Form
This is the third book of Hewson that I've read and they are pure pulp pleasure. With each book his stories get more far stretched (is that a word?). But his mix of the Roman location, symbol driven mysteries, art and architecture and a well stock cast of characters keep you entertained. Sacred Cut is no different but maybe a little lighter than earlier entries in this series. It is probably said often but Hewson’s series can best compared to Dan Brown’s Di Vinci Code and its sequel and prequel, ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller lovers
Recommended to Robyn by:
I was truely sorry when I finally finished listening to this book. It has been my first experience of David Hewson's work. I enjoyed it very much. The author has built the tension in this story very well and the twists in the plot that occurred close to the end is well managed. It is refreshing to read a mystery in which someone else besides the American is the hero. I am off to Borders to buy some paperbacks and can't wait for my next subscription to be available so I can listen to ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries-rome
Hewson is an excellent, complex writer, not what you expect for a crime novelist. Keep that dictionary nearby.

It was interesting that Peroni was the lead investigator rather than Nic. Love the Peroni charactor, Hewson leaves so much to you imagination. Fascinating how the story involves american missionary spies and the long-term effects of war. The character Emily Deacon weak, expected much more of Viale.
Mar 29, 2011 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a serial killer that carves his victims back in the "sacred cut". The Italian police are butting heads with the FBI even though the murder takes place at the Pantheon. The FBI agent on the case knows far more than he is telling but then the Italian police have some cards up their sleeves too. Very good story line and it does keep moving.
I didn't finish this book because it took a while to get into it and I couldn't be bothered. I'm sure the story itself isn't too bad, but for me there's something about the names of the characters and their individual stories that makes it somewhat hard to enjoy. I returned this book to the library before halfway.
Reetta Saine
Dec 01, 2011 Reetta Saine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, dekkarit
Nic Costa kaatuu hiukan liian dramaattisiin ja monimutkaisiin kuvioihin - oli kyse sitten murhasta, suurvaltapolitiikasta tai ihmissuhteista. Ehdoton jättimäinen, kyseenalaistamaton, järkkymätön lukukokemus Rooma-friikeille. (Vaikka ehkä roomalaiset olisivat eri mieltä ja Hewson kärsiikin leon-kompleksista).
Jul 10, 2015 Mei rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I'm loving this series more and more, so am looking forward to reading more about these characters. They all develop and grow over the course of the series and their relationships are well drawn out; likeable yet flawed, but in an Italian way. Really enjoying this and he writes well too.
Greg Hatcher
Apr 26, 2009 Greg Hatcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: modern mystery fans
Slow starter, despite the horrific events. But once it's roiling it's hard to put down. Also, the mystery's solution itself is really well-thought-out and plays completely fair, yet still came as a total shock to me. That's really hard to pull off.
Oct 15, 2010 Vivienne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller

I quite enjoyed this though felt that it began quite strongly and then began to meander somewhat towards the conclusion.

Still it is an enjoyable enough series and I like Nic Costa and his allies as ongoing characters.
Oct 14, 2012 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Costa series by David Hewson and I'm now reading this for the second time...brillianly atmospheric and a great suspenseful storyline ....a must read and if you like Rome, Italy or just a great thriller can't go wrong with this book !
Allie Wilkins
Jan 24, 2010 Allie Wilkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was much better than the second one but it still had its moments of just skimming pages to get to the good stuff. It was a guessing game and had a great twist. I don't like when books are predictable.
Virginia Walter
In this third Nic Costa mystery, the Roman cop finds himself involved with American agents on the track of a Desert Storm secret operation gone bad and meets the woman he will later marry and see killed before his eyes in subsequent books in this series. (I am reading them out of sequence.)
Jan 26, 2014 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A new author to me.But already looking for more in our local library. Set in Rome during the time when snow fell for the first time in years, a series of murders take place. Many twists and turns before all is solved. If you love thrillers, then maybe this is for you.
I like Hewson's style and find that his characters are well drawn. The setting is excellent and covers a lot of what we saw in Rome last year. His story line is very good and I thought that the ending was both reasonable and entertaining. I'm looking forward to the other books in the series.
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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 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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