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The Sacred Cut

The Rome Series: Book 3
Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
Series: Nic Costa, Book 3
Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's approaching Christmas in Rome and snow is falling in a way that only happens every 20 or 30 years. The city is soon paralyzed by an unseasonably icy grip, and in the dark corners of the Pantheon a grim and mysterious story begins to unfold.

Nic Costa and his partner Gianni Peroni are called to reports of an intruder. Instead they find a woman's naked body, scarred in a geometric pattern. Almost immediately they are met by a team from the FBI determined to take over an investigation into what they claim is a killer murdering American tourists around the world, in ways which link back to the mystical structure of the Pantheon itself.

But one agent, Emily Deacon, has a different story to tell, one that has a tragic personal dimension. Through her and an elusive Iraqi girl Laila, only witness to the death in the Pantheon, Nic Costa is pulled relentlessly into the world of the Iraq war and the shadowy secret agents whose job was to penetrate the regime of Saddam Hussein before the armed forces attacked.

Soon he is aware that there is a conspiracy at the heart of these deaths which runs back to Washington, and the past of Emily Deacon's dead father, a tangle of connections he has to unravel, even if it comes at a considerable personal and professional cost. A madman is loose in the frozen winter landscape of Rome, and as Costa soon realises, he is one the American agents know only too well.

©2005 David Hewson (P)2005 W.F. Howes Ltd.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

In the Mood

I found with 'Garden of Evil', that listening for a second time altered my perspective, and over the years have listened to that novel more than twice. And 'enjoyed' it very much.

Grisly yes, Hewson's novels can be that. Maybe a listener does need to be in the mood for bloody mayhem and be prepared with an open mind for a different way of the macabre. being presented.

Hewson's novels could disturb your equilibrium and, a bit like good art. help you see the world in a slightly different way. Italy is a grand area for such shifts in perspective, some buildings or streets may never be quite the same for you. Not in a nightmare sense at all but more along the lines of pushing us to view the world as possibly being different to what we are told.
Saul Reichlin reads well too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Promises much, delivers little

Rome, the Pantheon, weird symbols and the Vitruvian Man all promised an involved story with some more "Da Vince Code-esque" nonsensical but thoroughly enjoyable conspiracies. Not so this time. This is a bog-standard detective story with a twist that leaves you saying "Oh - was that all?". I puffed my way through it in the gym expecting at any moment that it would liven up, but sadly it plodded through to a rather mediocre ending. Actually, I was kind of hoping something really really awful was going to happen to a few main characters because I really couldn't care less what happened to them.

On the positive side this is well-narrated with good character voices, the descriptions of Rome are engaging and if you've visited (what do you mean you haven't? EVERYONE must go to Rome at least once...) it will be quite vivid. The ending is neat if a little cheesy, and there are a few moments of genuine tension.

As per several of my other reviews I wish Audible would start a ratings system similar to movies. In the UK I would give this a "15" for obscene language and blasphemy, which is narrated with stomach-churning enthusiasm. Oh how I wish authors could leave this out! It spoils so many potentially good stories and is quite unnecessary. John Grisham is a good example of how to write brilliantly without foul and offensive language.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

ponderous

The plot gets lost in ponderous narrative and monotone narrator. This story is promoted as a thriller/serial murder mystery but turns out to be a longwinded novel.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Crystal
  • Greenville, NC, USA
  • 07-08-06

Interesting Depiction of Southerners

The plot of the book was pretty good, but the characterization of southerners was a bit hard to take. I cringed every time I heard the word “yall” used in the second person singular. Southerners usually use “you” as the second person singular and reserve “you all” or “yall” for the second person plural. We may have some colloquialisms, but we aren’t grammatically ignorant, as almost every character in this book is depicted as being. The over done accents and misused “you all” made listening to the book a challenge, even when I was interested in the plot.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • Allen, TX, United States
  • 06-16-09

Good narrator; Terrible American accents

While the characters are well drawn and the Italians are well portrayed (even though the narrator has an English Accent!!),the American dialects are so distracting as to be laughable and/or irritating. Great story, though.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great read

Great read. Good characters. Good narration except for the American FBI agent. I hope audible picks up more of the books in the series

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great book

This is a really great listen. I listen to A LOT of books & this is one of the best.

It is a very good thriller with a similar thematic to the Da Vinci Code... but not at all a rip off.

For sure a must read

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Bellevue, WA, USA
  • 03-03-09

Real talky

This is a very talky mystery but the mystery is more when is will end. It ends with a whimper whereby the killer just fades into the jail and the "cast" talks some more. I listened until the story quit.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Serena
  • Narre Warren NorthAustralia
  • 05-20-06

PITIFULLY DISMAL

This is without a doubt the worst book I have ever listened to. Im not sure which was worse, the abysmal reading or the incredibly inept dialogue. The reader attempted accents that were far beyond his abilities that were neither convincing nor consistent. He must have put little time and effort into actually reading the book before he read it as he regularly expressed emotions incorrectly. E.g. 'You wont get away with this' Nic shouts angrily, is read in a mincing, whiney voice that sounds anything but angry. Then there is the dialogue, which is so totally unrealistic that it must have been written by someone who has spent his entire life living under a rock.

If you can actually get past the pathetic reading, ridiculous characters and the incredibly unreal dialogue, you may discover that there is actually the skeleton of a good story line. This story line was unfortunately spoiled by writing and reading styles so obnoxious, they leave me wondering how this book ever got published.

Save your money, there are plenty of other good books out there.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Sacred Cut

This is one of the best books I heard lately.It is well written and tells not only a story with great characters, but shows a lot of the conveluted and corrupt mechanisms of States. The person is nobody, the interests of of a State and it's minions, all.This is book 3 in a great series. Since I could not find the other ones as audios, I bought the books. Great reads!!!!!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Toni
  • 03-14-16

My Favorite Hewson & the rest.

once again I am in love with the Nic Costa Series. I always hope for just one more, I believe this is the third time I have listen to this series now, I am in love with Hewsons writing & with Saul Reichlin's smooth voice. Tonii - Australia