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The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa, #5)
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The Seventh Sacrament (Nic Costa #5)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  534 ratings  ·  51 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)
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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
Greg Z
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
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.
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

Nancy Oakes
Questura Detectives Costa and Peroni are back in Rome once more after their adventure in Venice (in The Lizard's Bite), along with Teresa Lupo & Inspector Falcone. Installment 5 of this series begins with the curator of a small museum of items of interest to psychics, who finds that a small, bloodstained T-shirt on display has now sported new and fresh stains. From there, a woman at a church discovers something too horrible for words, and is off with her story to the police. Enter the team - ...more
Blair McDowell
Feb 09, 2015 Blair McDowell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
I love books
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
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
Shonna Froebel
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
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
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
Sharon Thomson
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
Jeanette Turner
Great! Once again, Rome came to life and I also gained an insight into its military history - mixing historical facts with modern-day fiction was successfully achieved. A gripping tale of intrigue.
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
I really liked it. Fast moving read. Had me scratching my head trying to figure out the "what really happened" to the very end.
Apr 20, 2009 Jaimie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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.

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.
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.
Evey*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.
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.
I have thoroughly been enjoying this series. Dave Hewson's detective books all have those little unpredictable twists that you never see coming, making them perfect mysteries. The characters are well developed and I love the relationships. And they're all set in Italy, mostly Rome, which just makes me want to go there.
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.
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.....
Molto molto strano, ma bello. Ho cominciato ad apprezzarlo verso la fine, quando si ricollegano un po' tutti i fili della storia.
Meh.... Had a nice twist near the end but other than that was only just o.k. Not very suspenseful, nor thrilling, nor mysterious in my opinion. I probably won't search out any other novels in this line (Nic Costa)
I cannot put this book down! It is really gripping. Interesting the fact it flicks backwards to events 14 years ago and back to modern day as you see the events intertwine and the story unfold.
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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 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)
A Season For The Dead (Nic Costa, #1) The Killing (The Killing, #1) The Villa Of Mysteries (Nic Costa, #2) The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa, #3) The Garden Of Evil (Nic Costa, #6)

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