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Lucifer's Shadow

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  832 ratings  ·  73 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, 369 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Delta (first published June 18th 2001)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  832 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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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
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. ...more
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
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.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found this one hard work to get through. Both story lines just seemed to wander aimlessly at times so the pace just died.
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.
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
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
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
Maria Marinas
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I seldom find a book that captures my imagination as this one did. It has a superb balance between past and present, evil and good, survival and defeat. After reading it, I went on to buy several books by David Hewson and I was amazed to see that none of them lived up to the expectations ;-)
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. All the loose ends were tied up very satisfactorily and the twist was just brilliant. I have heard this book being compared to The Da Vinci Code but is far superior, the writing vividly brings Venice to life and now I desperately want to visit. Maybe one day......
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. ...more
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
This is a terrific guilded double thriller that sways to an elegant prose that befits the promise of Venice. A world encapsulated by tidal shadows that gnaws at the very bricks of the city, exposing the timeless currents of human nature, from it's abyss to celestial artistry.
Unable to put down this elegant thriller.
May 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Didn't finish it. Don't bother. ...more
Paige McClurg
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little hard to read at first since I know so little about Venice. The map helped. I really like how the two stories twisted together. The ending was great!
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, italy
Parallel mysteries surrounding a violin.
Marnie Z
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish... ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not read - given up. Too bleak and depressing.. at least right now..
May 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Trying new authors-only read 13% before quitting.
Richard Burrows
Half the plot I liked, half was confusing. 2.5 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
It was a super slow start, to the point where I nearly abandoned it, but wound up picking up toward the end. Overall, I liked it more than I didn't. ...more
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
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
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
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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

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