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Lucifer's Shadow

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  711 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In an ancient burial ground on an island off Venice, a young woman's casket is pried open, an object is wrenched from her hands, and an extraordinary adventure begins.

From the moment he arrives in Venice, Daniel Forster is seduced by the city's mystery and eroticism. An earnest young academic, Daniel has come for a summer job cataloguing a private collector's library. But
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Delta (first published June 18th 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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It was OK, but I like this author's Nic Costa mysteries better. If you're looking for a well-written suspense story, check those out instead. While this tried to be suspenseful and historical, it missed it's mark and wasn't really either.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Historical mysteries, especially a combination of a present day mystery mirroring a history from the past, are my favorites, and this one kept me very interested throughout. Personally I was more interested in the present day mystery, because I found it more compelling and liked the romance better; but I enjoyed both.

Daniel Forster is an young englishman who comes to Venice to work for a vaguely shady (or is it shadowy?) antique dealer named Scacchi. He is captiv
Jessa Allen
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I spent a day, a single day, in Venice a few years ago. I loved how well this book described the city, it felt like I was back there walking the narrow streets and winding passageways. The story and characters were well written and I enjoyed how everything tied together in the end.
Rossrn Nunamaker
I took out Lucifer's Shadow and Lizard's Bite both by David Hewson at the same time and read Lizard's Bite first as I had read the previous Costa detective book the Sacred Cut.

I should have read Lucifer's Shadow first. The Lizard's Bite follows Lucifer's Shadow. Both books feature Hugo Massiter and Lizard's Bite mentions Daniel Forster and Laura who are featured in Lucifer's Shadow.

Lucifer's Shadow is two related stories in one. Like Hewson's other books, the beginning is slow reading. This one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ray Akerboom
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is especcially the atmosphere of Venice, both now and a few century's ago that is so gripping in this 'adventure'. Of course there are enough mysteries and even a murder or two on the shelf, but it is the elegance and the beauty of the city that makes you wanna go back there every time you lay your book aside. The two parralel stories eventually come together and the end is rather surprising. Whilst you read, put on some soft Vivaldi concerto in the background and behold... you're there and c ...more
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was very entertaining and multidimensional. It takes place in Venice and having spent two weeks there 2 years ago, the accurate description of the buildings and streets took me back to Venice!! The book also held two mysteries told at the same time alternating with chapters from the time of Vivaldi and current times. Although the two stories took place in completely different times, there were definite similarieties. It was a challenge to keep up with all the characters, but interestin ...more
Penny Gumbel
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Normally I enjoy when multiple stories are interwoven together; however this novel wasn't successful. The stories were disjointed and the timeframes were unclear. By the end of the story the author's purpose became clear, but by that point I was over it.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
in this genre where something in the past influences the present, zafon (shadow of wind, angels game) is the author who holds the prime spot.

this book tries to come close, and trust me he tries hard. one could easily shelf 100 pages off this book. starts at a turtles pace only to pick up in the last 150 pages or so.

all in all its a good read.good for picking historical references from the Renaissance capital
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star-ratings
Het was mij persoonlijk iets te langdradig op sommige plekken, en de conclusie was zwak.
Tegen het einde aan begon ik steeds sneller te lezen, niet omdat het nu zo spannend was, maar omdat ik er vanaf wou zijn.

Ik raad het niet aan.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erika Schmid
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
My head could not contain the epic eye roll I wished to display upon reading this pile of a cliche plot and flat characters. Honestly, this was by far the most cookie-cutter display of writing I have read in a long time. Perhaps, I really believe, I have outgrown novels like these. There is no mystery to them for me anymore, there is no suspense. There is just stereotypical writing for an "exciting" story. Or, perhaps, this novel just didn't have anything it should have had.

Set during two time
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
The premise of the book was intriguing. Two parallel stories occurring 300 years apart and told in alternating chapters build upon the provenance of an exceptional piece of classical music. The written manuscript and the violin on which the piece was originally was played are the physical threads that stitch the stories to one another. In both stories, the origins of the work is known only to a few and must remain must remain secret even as it is being furtively practiced by an orchestra and rea ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
So far it's a slow read. A lot of back and forth from present day Venice and the past. I'm starting to get the hang of the style and things are getting more interesting. I'll let you know how it goes from here.

It got better, or I got better at figuring out which century we were in. The biggest problem was that in both centuries one of the main characters was named Sacchi and everything had something to do with a Sacchi who was a bit crooked, so until you get the background and/or the other chara
Sheather Nelson
Jun 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Two entertwined stories, set several hundred years apart, and connected by a violin. This is a recipe I am a sucker for. The descriptions of Venice are beautiful, the pace quickens as the mystery unfolds (it becomes hard to put down), and the end payoff is great. (It's a happier ending than I would have expected, and even the very last sentence is a surprise zinger.)
Some people have complained about having difficulty following the two plotlines, but I almost always enjoy this literary device of
Amy Cockram

For a full review, please see my blog:

I read this book because I had my honeymoon in Venice, and I am always fascinated to read books set in this wonderful city.

This book has a dual timeline split between modern Venice and the Venice of 1733. In modern day Venice, an antique violin and the discovery of a musical manuscript sets in motion a series of events which result in murder. The same violin and manuscript feature in the 1733 timeline, and this storyli
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book during November when I was up to my eyes with NaNoWriMo so I read it very slowly. Perhaps this was the best way of enjoying this book. It is a book that deserves time and attention. It is beautifully written and I loved the 'past' and 'present' construction and all the fascinating parallels (without giving too much away here I hope!). There are unexpected twists and turns in the plot that kept me hooked until the end. A very satisfying read and a great ending too. The descriptio ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers of David Hewson, those who enjoyed the movie "The Red Violin"
This book was full of twists at the end which made it worth reading, but I admit there were points where I found it to be tedious. David Hewson is an excellent author and I enjoy all of his books but this one has been my least favorite. His series which features Detective Nic Costa are better written and far more engaging. Lucifer's Shadow reminds me of the movie "The Red Violin" since this story follows a violin through history and two of it's owners. This story jumps back and forth from curren ...more
What a marvelous, MARVELOUS book my friend quinnsmom recommended! It carried me away in so many senses. Excellent writing, interesting subjects, vivid descriptions, intervweaving stories, historical accuracy (at least I *think* so), plausability, passion, art, music and VENICE! How could it be bad!

There were enough twists and turns in the plot lines to keep me surprised right through to the very end-

I shall spend the day looking up all kinds of things on the Internets to refresh my memory of Ven
Diane Challenor
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Abandoned the audiobook because I found the narrator's accents distracting. That said, after considering whether or not to buy the eBook and read the story the traditional way, I discovered there wasn't an eBook available. After persisting with the audiobook for a bit longer, I decided the story wasn't for me either. So it's gone onto the abandoned shelf. That said, if I come across a paperback version, I'd have another go at it, by reading it, not listening to it.
Just finished this one (It's May 2012) Well done, but not my favorite, though the scene delivery was quite good. Character development was very well done as well, but the emotional connection was just not there. There was nothing extraordinary about these people that made me love them. The story in itself saved the work, it was very imaginative and written well. The two or so sexual parts were horrible and would have been better left out.
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to read this, but it was an interesting book. It was a little hard, especially in the beginning, to keep track of the dual story-lines. I even resorted to jotting down the names of the characters, some from the present, and the rest from the past near the composer Vivaldi's time. There are many parallels in the two stories. Near the end it keeps your attention, and there's a few surprises at the end.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The thing I love so much about David Hewsons books is his the sense of time and place he writes it so well I can imagine Venice perfectly both now and in Vivaldi's time, that's really about the best thing I can say about this one though I am a huge fan of the nic Costa series and although I found the characters somewhat interesting in this story I couldn't develop a liking for them such a I have for Nic etc. all the same an interesting story with a satisfactory ending
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I started reading this book when I was in Venice. Liked the concept but sometimes the jumps between the present and 17th century Venice got a bit confusing. Like the way the two stories mirrored eachother but also slightly differed.

I think mr Hewson got confused by the jumps in time of his novel when one of his 17th century characters referred to a protagonist from one of the Beatrice Potter novels.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good start, alot of intrigue, and the author has you wondering what all the mystery is about. But things just dragged, with the main plot and its sub-plots dragging even further, that i just lost interest. I got about two-thirds of the way through the book before i just decided it wasn't worth the effort.
Neal James
I've been reading this for our book group for the past three weeks, and it's slow.

There's very little to hold my interest, but I have to complete it or let the group down.

The settings are unfamiliar to me, and the timescales do not seem to gel together very well.

All this despite some rave reviews - am I missing something?
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy
The Venetian setting of this thriller was wonderfully evocative for anyone who has ever been there and the writing was excellent. The two parallel stories - 1733 and the present day - also worked in this novel. However, there were realy no characters that the reader could care about and both tales were too dark and had too much that was treacherous or brutal or evil.
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was a great pair of parallel stories set several hundred years apart in Venice. I'm a fan of mystery, music and Italy, all of which this book has plenty of. However, it also has plenty of gore. There are a few really nasty scenes and I had some trouble getting those images out of my mind...fair warning!
Wytzia Raspe
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Real good read. In fact they are two stories: one in the 18th century Venice and one in nowadays Venice with some links in between. Reminded me a bit of the book "In the garden of good and evil". Same kind of interesting people and the colour locale of a town and a good mystery to add. Really recommend it!.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the other books by Hewson. I loved the way the stories from past and present were being told, it felt like some parallel universe. I have a soft spot for books based in cities where I have been, it always brings back wonderful memories!
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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...

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