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De Romeinse lusthof

(Nic Costa #6)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  105 reviews
In een verborgen studio in een afgelegen Romeinse wijk, waar het Vaticaan de prostitutie vroeger oogluikend toeliet, worden een man en een vrouw dood aangetroffen voor een van de mooiste schilderijen die rechercheur Nic Costa ooit heeft gezien: een tot dan toe onbekend erotisch schilderij van de grote meester Caravaggio. Uit het onderzoek van de patholoog-anatoom blijkt da ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by De Fontein (first published December 18th 2007)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  881 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Kirsten McKenzie
This one took my breath away in places. So much art, and depravity. Set in Rome, in the streets that Caravaggio haunted in his youth, this book had everything - tension, artistic genius, death, mystery, troubled women, angry police, inept government officials, wealthy elite. A thriller by any definition. I especially loved the author's note at the end. Made me want to delve into every art book I could lay my hands on. Worth a read if you love art, history, the renaissance or police procedurals, ...more
Mar 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is definitely a thriller for art lovers. Of which I am not one, apparently. I like art, but I roll my eyes at the rhapsodizing about all the little details of Caravaggio's art that was found here. Ugh. I love things set in Italy, but for some reason, this one just didn't work all that well for me. The author took himself far too seriously, as did all of the characters, and it turned me off. Since there's hardly a mystery, it seemed like just a way to show off all the knowledge about paintin ...more
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A nicely dense thriller, full of arcane knowledge about the history of Rome and Caravaggio and painting and Italian history and the Medicis etc etc. It was great in this respect. The author has cleverly blended fact and fiction; it's difficult to tell which is which unless you already have some knowledge in these areas. There is an author's note at the end which gives some clues to what's real and what isn't.

This is a thriller for adults. Not only is it dense but it's sophisticated in its illumi
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I'm reading these in order and I most enjoy David Hewson's characters and the atmosphere of Rome, always so very creepy in Hewson's world. In his "Author's Notes" Hewson tells us that much of the information contained in this novel about the artist Caravaggio is true. And for these reasons (the characters, the atmosphere, Caravaggio) I liked this book. However, many of the characters do exactly what one is afraid they will do: the wrong thing. I do understand these characters have many personal ...more
Jeanette Turner
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book before The Seventh Sacrament which was not a good thing to do. However, the criminal underworld of Rome kept me enthralled, and I now want to read more of David Hewson's novels set in Rome, but perhaps I should read them in the order they were written! ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I couldn't wait to start this one because I loved the last one so much. However I didn't enjoy this one as much as the last, sadly, it lacked some undefinable element that made the last one unputdownable. It was still a very good read and the faux history was well woven together. ...more
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who like Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code etc), David Hewson makes it better! A chilling page-turner thriller for those who like history, art and Italy - Rome in particular.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good thriller. A little confusing at first because this is #6 in a series. I wondered why I didn't understand the relationships of people and previous events! ...more
Charles Moore
If you have an interest in fictionalized "real" crime this makes for a good read. I have no idea how much of this is made up and how much is for real but I like it all. It probably would help to have taken art history once upon a time, too. Lots of detail. Lots of characters. A good tight knot for the cops to unravel.

You will need to absorb a lot of art history and our hero's lack of remorse yet sturdy backbone. Surprisingly, I found his boss to be the good guy when in most detective/police pro
Hessa AlAtawi
This book reminds me of stories by Dan Brown with one little difference; details & events move in slow motion! I like the historical as well as the artistic parts even though some of them were made up by Hewson. In contrast, I didn't like the fact that the killer was well-known from page 1 of the book & all they have to do is to prove his involvement & guess the motive. In my opinion, mistery is what makes a thriller a good story to read. ...more
Robert Dunn
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Hewson's best so far of the Nic Costa series. Being set in Rome where there is so much history and art makes it that much more interesting. Caravaggio art is famous and Hewson portrays him as a troubled young artist. The story revolves around descendants of the Midici family and Caravaggio art. A really good read. ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a hard book to read. It was my first book to read of Mr. Hewson’s and I will admit that it is written well. I had a hard time with keeping the character names straight and there were a few instances where I was jolted back to reality because the continuity was not there.

I probably will not read it again due to my own personal preferences.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a read! So much happens in this book. Woman and man found stabbed to death in front of an unknown Caravaggio painting. This leads to finding several dead women’s corpses, a sister that can explain the history of Caravaggio‘s artwork, the death of Nic’s wife, the team going paced and a lot of surprises.
Hans Brienesse
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book with a good plot.The story ticks back and forth between centuries but everything is woven together in an almost seamless fashion. The only downside to the book is the insistence of this author to provide a hero or heroine with exceptional deductive powers. This tends to take some of the essence from the story. Overall though, this notwithstanding, a good book.
Jane Muir
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read with lots of twists and turns. However I am beginning to wonder how much more Nic Costa can take in his short life without it seeming too much like a soap opera. Maybe need a new "hero" series. ...more
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good
Kate Owen
Sep 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give it less than one star I would, I read over half of it and gave up!
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Struggled with this one. Did not grip me the same way as I have come to expect from a "Nic Costa" book. ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Nic Costa is still relatively young; he’s ruled by an iron sense of honesty and justice. That’s why he became a cop. But some cases make it harder for him to stay within his own rules. Especially where people believe they are above the law.
I am probably doing Nic Costa a disservice by starting his series at book six. There was frequent mention of events from earlier series and an understanding that readers knew who and what people were and their relationship to Nic, but I picked it
Blair McDowell
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good detective stories and armchair travelers
Shelves: my-reviews, favorites
This is the sixth, and the best I have read yet, of David Hewson’s series featuring Rome Detective, Nic Costa. The Garden of Evil features all the characters I have come to enjoy in the previous books, all of them more mature and in different circumstances. Life seems to happen to Hewson’s characters both in these books and between them.

This story takes place in Rome and involves a previously undiscovered painting by Caravaggio and an unsavory secret society whose activities include violence and
Iowa City Public Library
I’ve recently finished reading the latest novel in a series that I follow, which deals with two of my favorite subjects…Italy and murder. MUAH-HUAH-HUAH!!! Garden of Evil, by David Hewson, finds Roman detective Nic Costa newly and happily married for the first time. His bliss is soon shattered when he and his gruff, kinda disfigured partner Gianni get called to a grisly murder scene, tucked away in a fairly ancient, twisty part of Rome. The bodies quickly multiply (don’t they always?), and the i ...more
A thriller in which the old and the new are entwined. Caravaggio and AIDS, the old and modern Italian aristocracy. The detectives are boldly drawn, struggling against lawyers who try to tie their hands. The main character, Nic Costa, has to deal with his wife's death, as well as threats to others from the same aristocratic thug who killed her. The invented material relating to Caravaggio is intriguing but not entirely convincing. Perhaps the most lyrical part of the novel is the portrait of Rome ...more
Iowa City Public Library
There are several quite popular mystery writers who place their stories in Italy. Deciding it was time for me to make that trip, I picked up The Garden of Evil by David Hewson. This is the sixth in his Nic Costa series. Nic is a contemporary Rome police detective called to a bloody crime scene in a deserted artist’s studio. Early on it’s pretty clear who committed the crime, but the prime suspect is rich and powerful, and seemingly untouchable. The author mixes mystery, history, art, and Rome in ...more
Rossrn Nunamaker
I've read most, but not all of the Nic Costa books by David Hewson and have enjoyed them based on the depth of the characters coupled with the environments in which they live and work.

Hewon does not write the page-turner that is over in a night. Instead, he infuses his stories with rich detail that is of an old-world pace.

In this one Detective Costa is faced with a grisly murder scene that reveals multiple murders and a potentially historic piece of art by Caravaggio. Shortly after arriving at t
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
An excellent choice for listening. The Audible recording was well narrated by the capable Saul Reichlin. While portions of the book required a bit of patience for a thriller, particularly a slowish middle section, all in all it was an enticing "read", with distinct characters and locales in modern Rome, mixed in with the shadowy presences of long ago plausibly historic characters. One must accept the presence of a newly discovered Caravaggio painting, which I could, and suspend a bit of historic ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all of Hewson's mysteries in the series featuring Nic Costa of the Roman police, there is lots of art, in this case Caraveggio. There is also the Catholic Church, here in the guise of Sister Agata Graziano. When a previously unknown Caraveggio is found at the scene of a murder, questions are raised as to the authenticity of the work as well as its relation to the murder and its perpetrator. The police have suspects, but their hands have been tied by the influence, connections, and wealth of ...more
Benjamin Stahl
I picked this book up because in me it sparked the image of demonic flowers and malevolent trees ... and was I in for a disappointment ...

I don't like detective stories because I find that by these days there surely can't be much territory unexplored (although this hasn't deterred me from writing my own one...). Anyway, the story was nicely written - the first chapter was actually terrific, and I thought I had struck gold after all - but the expected cliches are not late on arriving, and from th
Stephanie Miller
I was in the mood for suspense and mystery, which is why I chose this book. Unfortunately, the killer was spoon fed to you 100 pages in, so you didn't have to work for it (an e-mail was sent to the police identifying the killer? really?), so there was a lack of mystery. The rest of the book is trying to get into the killer's head, and spends more time solving a 400 year old mystery, which takes a lot for granted, with very little solid evidence. Now, I enjoy the massive amount of research to por ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So here's the thing - I can't stand when the story is propelled by bad things happening to the main characters rather than by the mystery itself. So this irked me right from the get go. Then it seems to follow the same pattern of identify the bad guy, try to catch the bad guy, main characters get hurt chasing down the bad guy, the bad guy messes up and thinks get resolved but maybe not how we would like. If it weren't for the setting (Rome) that I love, I'm not sure I'd bother. I gave it three s ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not so much a mystery as a procedural novel, where the procedure is hamstrung by the influence of the wealthy and their lawyers on Italian judicial process. The writing is not as smooth as some of his previous Nic Costa mysteries. A dead pickpocket and a dead French woman in a back alley studio in Rome with the presence of buried whores and an erotic and disturbing masterpiece that appears to be by Caravaggio set the stage for this brutal novel with historical links to the Medici's and Renaissan ...more
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DAVID HEWSON was born in Yorkshire in 1953. His books range from the Nic Costa series set in Italy to adaptations of The Killing in Copenhagen and the Pieter Vos series in Amsterdam.
He's adapted Shakespeare for Audible and in 2018 won the Audie for best original work for Romeo and Juliet: A Novel, narrated by Richard Armitage.
2019 sees the release of a new, full-cast Audible drama set in New York

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)
  • Dante's Numbers (Nic Costa, #7)
  • The Blue Demon (Nic Costa, #8)
  • The Fallen Angel (Nic Costa, #9)
  • The Savage Shore (Nic Costa #10)

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