ItÃ¢ÂÂs August in Rome, and Nic CostaÃ¢ÂÂs vacation is about to be cut short by a scream, a girl covered in blood, and a man lying dead in the Via Beatrice Cenci. It seems that Malise Gabriel, a scholar with an impressive list of enemies, stepped onto faulty scaffolding for a cigarette and fell to his death.ÃÂ
On the surface, itÃ¢ÂÂs no more than an unfortunate accident.ÃÂ
But the deeper Costa looksÃ¢ÂÂinto the facts that donÃ¢ÂÂt add up, into the haunted eyes of GabrielÃ¢ÂÂs beautiful daughter, Mina, and into the mysterious links between the present and the pastÃ¢ÂÂthe more heÃ¢ÂÂs haunted by disturbing parallels with a centuries-old crime: In 1599, Beatrice Cenci was beheaded by the Vatican for murdering her father, a man known for unthinkable sexual crimes. Does MinaÃ¢ÂÂs obsession with Beatrice intimate her own familyÃ¢ÂÂs dark secrets, or is someone using her as a smoke screen for a far deadlier plan?
Soon another body is discovered and Nic comes to doubt his own first impressions. Something evil is circling Mina, her angry and silent mother, her runaway brother, and her familyÃ¢ÂÂs checkered history in England, the United States, and Italy. And now that something is closing in fast for the kill.
In a novel that captures modern Rome in all its complexity, as well as its history of beauty and barbarity, genius and blindness, The Fallen Angel is David Hewson at his bestÃ¢ÂÂa twisting and twisted contest between innocence and evil.
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