: Dante's numbers (9780230529359) : David Hewson : Books
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Dante's Numbers

by David Hewson
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Product Details

  • Publisher: MacMillan
  • Publishing date: 10/2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780230529359
  • ISBN: 0230529356


Allan Prime's eyes were as large as any man's Peroni had ever seen. He looked ready to die of fright, even before the bright, shining spear with the blood-soaked tip reached his head ...The death mask of the poet Dante is to be exhibited at the premiere of a controversial film, "Inferno", based on his epic work. But at the grand unveiling this priceless artefact is replaced by a macabre death mask of the film's star, Allen Prime. And minutes later, the leading actress, Maggie Flavier, is threatened before her attacker is shot.After footage of Prime's murder is shown over the internet, the Carabinieri are determined to take over the investigation, certain that a crazed Dante fan is behind the killing. Nic Costa and his team follow the movie to its next showing in San Francisco, to safeguard the remaining items and hoping to recover the stolen death mask. However, in California the mystery deepens, with confusing new clues about the deaths in Rome. With the Carabinieri and local authorities distracted by false leads, can Costa protect Maggie, find the truth and stop the killer - all before life imitates art?

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  • Arguably the most accessible of Hewson's works
    From Amazon

    DANTE'S NUMBERS has already created some stir in certain quarters. It is the latest of David Hewson's novels concerning Rome police detective Nic Costa, but it transports him to environs far removed from Italy. The controversy that this change of scenery has created obscures the fact that this is the author's best book to date. The novel opens in Rome on the eve of the world premiere of a film adaptation of Dante's INFERNO. The project has not been without controversy, which the director and producer have welcomed for the attendant publicity. All of this attention takes a violent turn, however, when two murders occur. One of the victims is the male lead in the movie, and the bizarre method of his death is broadcast live on the Internet. The website from which the airing of this crime originates has ties to San Francisco, so that the investigation, led by the heavy-handed Carabinieri officers, is transferred there. Costa, Leo Falcone, Gianni Peroni and Teresa Lupo are in tow, due to the fact that Dante's death mask, on loan with other Dante-related artifacts from San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, has gone missing. The Rome police are charged with guarding the artifacts while they are being returned to San Francisco, as well as hopefully recovering the missing mask. Let's digress for a moment. We have Italian policemen in San Francisco in a mystery written by a British author. It is this change of locale that has given rise to the controversy surrounding DANTE'S NUMBERS. Let me assure you: the setting is perfect. Just as Hewson has demonstrated a native's familiarity with Rome in his previous Costa novels, so too does he "get" the rhythm and beat of San Francisco without unnecessarily pandering to its more scatological and controversial elements. Rather than setting the story in North Beach, for example, he places his police officers in the Cow Hollow area. This makes sense, given the location of the Palace of Fine Arts, but it is also challenging to make it interesting. Hewson meets that challenge, and then some. Other elements such as the weather, the manner in which distances can be so deceiving, and one of San Francisco's most under-appreciated treasures --- the Mission Dolores --- are also given proper due. San Francisco though is primarily a place of the heart, and indeed neither Falcone nor Costa is immune. Still emotionally reeling from the murder of his wife, Costa feels the faint stirrings of attraction for Maggie Flavier. Cast as Dante's Beatrice in INFERNO, Flavier first attracts Costa's eye in Rome. Given that she is a resident of San Francisco, their paths continue to cross. It is Costa's unwillingness to let go of the murder investigation (and Falcone's half-hearted attempt to reign him in) that sends him along San Francisco's less known and less traveled roads. When Flavier herself becomes the target of a poison attack and additional murders occur, Costa continues in earnest, little knowing how close he and Maggie are to the heart of the motivation of all that has occurred. DANTE'S NUMBERS is arguably the most accessible of Hewson's works, which is not to say that the plot is necessarily a simple one. Nor does Hewson fail to inform while entertaining. Indeed, the ins and outs of film financing, motion picture history, the differences between a producer and a director, and a little-known but centuries-old financial version of the game of "chicken" are all explored here, against the backdrop of one of the world's most interesting cities and, of course, the dip and swirl of romantic relationships. All of this is done within the context of an elaborate murder mystery, and exquisitely so. For what more could one reasonably ask?

  • Dante's Numbers
    From Amazon

    This story is more of a travel log than a mystery thriller. Not that the descriptions of Rome and San francisco aren't interesting, but they seem more like filler than important to the story line. The conflict between the police and the Carabinieri is more a distraction than a help to the plot. I know little of that relationship: it seemed like slap-stick. Nic Costa seems like he is along for the ride and really doesn't do much detective work. Terasa Lupo was the most interesting character and seemed to do the leg work. Will try one more of Hewson's work before moving on.

  • dante's number
    From Amazon

    It was slow moving with alot of filler, was rather disappointed as have read most of his previouw novels. I will try one more when he comes out with one in 2010.

  • Poor Excuse for a Police Procedural
    From Amazon

    The glittering premier of the blockbuster movie "Inferno" ("Hell"), based on Dante's poem, is shattered when the actress playing Beatrice, Dante's beloved and in the film(not the poem) his guide through Hell, is attacked by a horse-mounted officer of the Carabinieri wearing full dress and firing a weapon. Other Carabinieri in the security detail kill him, without much effort to stop or capture him. But the whole affair was a stunt. The dead "officer" was an imposter, a minor actor firing only blanks. The fiasco distracts the security forces from the disappearance of the film's leading man, international star Allan Prime who played Dante. Prime has been abducted and soon turns up being grotesquely murdered by a bizarre device on a live internet feed as the Carabinieri botch a rescue attempt. The premier is cancelled and relocated to San Francisco, actual home of "Inferno's" legendary Italian director, Roberto Tonti. The Italian security goes along, the Carabinieri for cast protection and the state police to guard the invaluable artifacts that are on exhibit. But attacks, and other strange events, continue. Quattrocchi, the buffoon who leads the Carabinieri, thinks that some of the Dante lovers who have been attacking the film for desecrating Dante's poem, are responsible and that they are connecting their actions to his poem. The state police slowly come to think that there is a movie connection, but not the one the Carabinieri think. By now it should be obvious that realism is not a big part of this book. The opening events alone require not merely that belief be suspended but that it be nailed to the ceiling. Frequent hyperbole and occasional surrealism are integral to the book. If you want a gritty police procedural, this book will disappoint. This book is an over the top entertainment. That said, it is a successful entertainment. It is smoothly written and pushes the right buttons: Bizarre conspiracies that continually reveal new depths; Tough cops; Idiot cops; Bureaucratic infighting; Violence, both weird and straightforward; Sane and insane villains; Glamorous but clueless movie stars; Some romance and even (to coin an oxymoron) some shallow depth to give some faux seriousness. The book moves along and it will please many.

  • Disappointing...
    From Amazon

    Having read all of Hewson's Costa series I was excited to get another. I shouldn't have been so excited. I had a really hard time with this one. It didn't grab me at the beginning and it laid around for a days before I picked it up again. Then it just seemed hard to follow and just not what I expect from this author. I never really got into it and unlike his others I wasn't sorry when it was finished and I could move on to something else. Sorry Mr. Hewson..maybe next time.

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