Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa, #5)” as Want to Read:
The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa #5)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  694 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In the heat of a Rome summer, a seven-year-old boy vanishes in the dank catacombs beneath the city. Now fourteen years have passed, and in acclaimed author David Hewson’s stunning new crime novel the heart-wrenching case has come back to life as Detective Nic Costa and his fellow investigators search through layers of their city’s history–for a killer leaving a trail of bo ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Seventh Sacrament, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Levent Mollamustafaoglu
This is a book that catches up quite late with the tempo expected in a crime novel. It took me until the middle of the book to start enjoying it. It is a complex tale of an archeologist whose son disappeared in an archeological site in Rome after he and his friends went in. The father does a private questioning of one of the boys in the police station, after which the boy dies and he goes to prison.

Several years later, the boys who were with his son start getting killed. Nic Costa is trying to c
Jan 16, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is part of a series but it's the first one I read. I gave it 3 stars because I cared enough to finish it. Personally, I feel that the fulcrum this plot rested upon was not on a par with the atrocities that followed. It just didn't make sense to me.
May 25, 2017 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime, procedural and thriller fans.
I missed Nic Costa and Gianni Peroni, the usual protagonists in Hewson's "Nic Costa" series. It's been awhile since I read the last one. I also wondered if Leo Falcone would recover from his wounds and whether Emily Deacon and Nic would stay together. All, plus more, is answered in this story.

Briefly, if that's possible, a killer, Giorgio Bramante, is released from prison after 14 years. He was convicted of beating to death, a suspect, Ludo Torchia, in the disappearance of his son, Alessio. The
Jan 17, 2017 A.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seven year old child, Alessio Bramante, is missing in the ancient tunnels under Rome. His father Giorgio, is left alone with one of the suspects and beats him to death before police intervene. The fallout sends him to gaol for murder and does not get any more information on the whereabouts of the child. The policeman who finally stopped him? Leo Falcone. The other students who are suspected of having something to do with the child’s disappearance are not convicted and are released. They change ...more
From Publishers Weekly

The intricate fifth thriller from British author Hewson to feature Roman detective Nic Costa (after 2006's The Lizard's Bite) artfully weaves several points-of-view as it shifts between past and present. Fourteen years after seven-year-old Alessio Bramante, the son of an eminent archeology professor, disappeared underneath Rome's ancient Circus Maximus, someone seeking revenge attacks Costa's colleague, Insp. Leo Falcone, who worked on the unsolved case of the missing boy

I love books
Jun 17, 2012 I love books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La squadra di Nic Costa, reduce da un caso molto difficile, non ha tempo per riposarsi; l’ispettore Falcone viene aggredito da un uomo col volto coperto, ma che è comunque riuscito a riconoscere: si tratta di Giorgio Bramante, un fantasma del passato di Falcone tornato per concludere ciò per cui era stato arrestato. Archeologo e docente universitario, una mattina Bramante era sceso in una grotta insieme al figlio Alessio, di cui da quel momento non si è più saputo nulla; gli unici sospetti all’e ...more
Blair McDowell
May 05, 2013 Blair McDowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good detective stories and armchair travelers
Shelves: my-reviews, favorites
The Seventh Sacrament is the fifth in David Hewson’s police detective series set in Rome and featuring agente Nic Costa and his friends. It is as compelling as all his others. Set against a backdrop of modern Rome, we are led deep underground for much of the story, into the world of the archaeologist. The backdrop for this tale of mystery, suspense and murder are the buried temples of a pre-Christian religion, Mithraism, practiced principally by the military, the Praetorian Guard, and the many t ...more
Rossrn Nunamaker
The fifth of eight (and counting) in the Nic Costa series, this is the fourth of Hewson's books I've read and third in the series.

The core cast of characters is now up to six which makes it a challenge when you add in others to make a good story. And you know it is going to grow exponentially when there is a list of "Principal" characters ahead of the introduction that is in excess of 30.

Despite that, I found it wasn't too bad keeping up with all these folks. What I did find challenging at times
Greg Z
Mar 31, 2015 Greg Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read the first four, and for me David Hewson is such a good writer I force myself to wait a few months before I read the next one, enjoying the anticipation. Throughout this one, Hewson hints at a thrilling final section entitled, appropriately, 'Book 5: The Seventh Sacrament.' And Hewson delivers some great surprises! However, I just completed reading this book, and I'm a bit mystified. But isn't that a characteristic of really good writing, those books which stay with us? All the regular ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 17, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel takes us back to Rome and the team of Nic Costa, Leo Falcone, Gianni Peroni, and pathologist Teresa Lupo. Leo is targetted by a man he put in jail fourteen years ago for beating a suspect to death, after being left alone with the suspect by Leo's boss Arturo Messina. The man, Giorgio Bramante, is trying to find out what happened to his 7-year-old son Alessio. The victim, Ludo Torchia, and five other students were in the same underground archeological site as Giorgio and Alessio and ar ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i'm not sure what to say about this book. the story was interesting enough to keep me reading and to make me want to see what happens at the end, but ...BUT... there were sections of dialogue that were just confusing and seemingly unnecessary. in fact, some of the characters seemed unnecessary and, as a result, kind of annoying. i found myself skimming though those parts ( which i hate to do) just to get to the parts that i actually wanted to read. i'm not sure if this really rated a 3 or someth ...more
This is book five in a series of police procedurals set in Rome. As a fan of the Venice mysteries of Donna Leon I picked this up hoping for some of the same atmosphere wrapped in the riddle of a crime. Hewson certainly knows Rome, both the Eternal City and its below-ground tunnels and catacombs where much of the action in this tale takes place. There is clearly some back-story I'm missing with the characters but nothing that detracted from a pretty gripping story. The crime is both a cold case a ...more
Sharon Burgin
Nov 02, 2011 Sharon Burgin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading David Hewson's Nic Costa series is like slipping on a comfy pair of shoes. You know what you're going to get but you're not disappointed.
This book jumps backwards and forwards between now and 14 years ago. With no indication at the beginning of the chapter which year it is did using it can be a bit confusing to start with, but you soon get in to the flow of it.
This is the review of a cold case that comes back to hit the main characters with an unseen twist at the end.
It also continues t
In David Hewson's the Seventh Sacrament, the 5th installment in the Nic Costa Italian mystery series, they returned back to Rome to rebuild their lives. But they team up, when they follow a trail of brain stains of a missing boy in a museum exhibit displaying evidence of Purgatory. For Giorgio Armante, an archeology professor, who lost his son Alessio in a centuries-old ritual, and beat one of the students to death. Now 14 years later, he's released from prison and seeking revenge on those who a ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Nola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Apparently this is a series, and it is the 5th in the series, so I might have enjoyed it more if I had some background on the main detectives. This is probably why I feel that the book lacks character development ... but I kept reading because I was interested in the plot. Good plotting, but as a history buff, which is why it attracted me in the first place, I would have liked a bit more information on the history of Rome, Mithraes, etc. It's not a bad book ... I just should have read it in the ...more
Andy Burke
Sep 18, 2015 Andy Burke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous ones in the series. There was still an interesting plot and good characters but I somehow found it lacking. There were some sections that just didn't seem to add anything much, while development of the main characters felt a little thin and disconnected, a couple of female characters seemed thrown away.

The climax was a little unsatisfying too and included a particularly ineffective SWAT team.

There was an underlying theme about generations, particu
Jul 10, 2016 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For me, there was nothing to like about this book. One-dimensional characters, long boring patches in the narrative, awkward attempts to jump between past and present, wild leaps of logic, etc. For example, the police were either flawless (the protagonist and his crew) or completely flawed without redeeming virtue (everyone else in the police department). I have only ever left one book unfinished; this should have been the second. It seemed like a script for the Hallmark Mystery Channel that wou ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries involving cold cases, fans of mysteries set in other countries
Shelves: mystery, suspense
Not typically a mystery reader, but I have to say, this book was fascinating. The mystery really kept me guessing. It was well crafted. The suspense was great, never boring and the detective and the rest of his group made this book even more fun to read. All their personalities just came to life and jumped right off the page.

This was the first Nic Costa book I had read but I never felt as though I needed to read the others to know what was going on.

A solid mystery, a great cast of characters, s
Jul 07, 2009 Juliette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I enjoyed this one a little more than the first book in the series (and have not read 2-4), but perhaps it's because I knew right off that it was a series.
The Seventh Sacrament didn't have as much historical information as I would have liked, but maybe that's because Mithraism isn't that well known.
This mystery is solved more by technology and human error than by knowledge of the past.
I really enjoy the developement of Lupo in this book and might have to read 2-4 to find if there's more
Dec 06, 2010 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, ebooks, fiction
The fifth in the Nic Costa series. I like all of the recurring characters (or at least find them interesting) and the Italian settings, and found the mystery this time around to be a solid and compelling one. Having said that, I really felt that I was slogging through it, and I think that I'm gonna blame the pacing. It just never took off. I wasn't particularly happy with the motivation(s) of one of the antagonists, either, but that bit only came to light at the very end, whereas the entire book ...more
Apr 20, 2009 Jaimie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction aficianados
Probably would have given this book four stars if I had known it was the fourth (?) in a series. I hate it when a book does not clearly state somewhere that it is a part of a series. I know that often crime series books are considered acceptable as stand alones, but they typically begin expecting you to already know who that main players are. Grr.

Also, I did not like the way the past sections were in italics.

Other than those complaints, I liked the book. Interesting storyline, mostly believabl
Aug 10, 2015 Mei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Really, really enjoyed this. I love the characters, I love the story (ok I like a bit of gore) but the whole thing just works for me. I've read a lot of crime novels recently, and mediocre crime is ok and tolerable and keeps me amused, but when there is GOOD crime, it's bloody enjoyable. I now have the next three books to go and it's really hard to try and space them out rather than read them all at once.
Jun 10, 2016 Jodieanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admit it took me awhile to get invested in this book but without my realising, I was suddenly really interested and couldn't wait to pick it up again when next I had time to read. I began to pause and reread passages that I felt were beautifully written, snatches of descriptions that evoked the feelings that they described in masterful ways. The plot was many layered and well executed. It all made sense in the end. I am looking forward to reading more of David Hewson's works.
May 19, 2011 Vivienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

Again an intelligent, well-paced crime thriller featuring Roman detective, Nic Costa, and his colleagues and partners.

Was very interested in this particular mystery focusing on the Roman cult of Mithras.

Really enjoying this series though again will reiterate that while in theory they are stand-alone, character development suffers if they are not read in order. Personally I am enjoying seeing Nic, who was very green behind the ears in Book 1, gain more experience.
Diane Louis
This was quite good. The story was told in flashback sessions, told in conjunction with the 'real-time' storyline, but falls back on the old mystery story plot device of the least likely person being the guilty party. The book gives some interesting historical insight into the ancient cult/religion of Mithraism, as well as some psychological behavioural studies. Only a few of the characters seemed to be in full possession of their mental faculties, which included the good guys.
Mar 14, 2011 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
probably a 3.5. This series is always interesting. Complex mysteries combined with Roman history - love it! This one was hard to get into because of the flipping between the past and the present but once I got going it was good. I always find stories of alternate religions before Christianity/Catholic Church became dominant in Europe very interesting.
Nov 25, 2010 Amberlynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, dc-library
I love all of Nic Costa series that I have read so far and this is no exception. As someone who reads and watches a lot of mystery/police procedure stuff, it's always really fun when an author can keep me guessing until the very end. This one actually made me gasp out loud! I can't wait to read the next one.
Oct 07, 2013 Claudio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un autore come sempre fantastico con una fantasia immensa.... Una storia molto articolata che riesce, specialmente in alcuni punti, a tenerti sulle spine..... Una fantastica trama coinvolgente.... Ottimo! Unica pecca: "la sorpresa" che si lascia alla fine del libro mi ha fatto rimanere un po' male.....
Jul 24, 2012 Ana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked this book up I hadn't realized that it was fifth in a series. I probably would have enjoyed it more, or at least been less confused about the various characters, if I had. Aside from that, the story was compelling enough to have me stick with it until the very end, and I find myself a bit curious about the rest of the series. I'll probably give David Hewson another chance.
Evelyn*My Redeemer*
I bought this book not realising that it was the 5th instalment. I might have enjoyed the book if i had read the first 4, as i would have known the characters.
I would advise anyone who is interested in reading David Hewson's novels to start with the first novel , then carry on from there.
I personally wont be reading any more of these books as i honestly did not enjoy it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Death In Tuscany (Michele Ferrara, #2)
  • The Dogs of Rome (Commissario Alec Blume, #1)
  • The Samaritan's Secret (Omar Yussef Mystery #3)
  • The Black Sun (Tom Kirk, #2)
  • The Mosaic Crimes (Dante Alighieri, #2)
  • Pretty Dead Things (Cetin Ikmen, #10)
  • The Venice Conspiracy (Tom Shaman, #1)
  • The Drowning River (Sandro Cellini, #1)
  • Crow Stone
  • Fury (Tweed & Co. #12)
  • A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen, #6)
  • In Sheep's Clothing (Torie O'Shea, #7)
  • Clean Break (Kate Brannigan, #4)
  • Splintered Icon
  • Crimini
  • The Venus Conspiracy
  • Kingdom
  • The Vanished Hands (Javier Falcon, #2)
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 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)

Share This Book