Lucifer's Shadow

by David Hewson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0385338058 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingbookczukwing of Charleston, South Carolina USA on 9/7/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, September 07, 2005
This book was given to me by MArtiP as part of an amazing "Love Bomb" from BookCrossing and Live Journal friends. It is one of my favorites, and I shall loan it out, but do want to keep it so shall expect it back when it goes away for a bit.My review to follow.

"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 when Daniel's employer sends him to buy a stolen violin from a petty thief, a chain reaction of violence and deception ignites. Suddenly Daniel is drawn into a police investigation - and a tempest swirling around a beautiful woman, a mysterious palazzo, and a lost musical masterpiece dating back centuries. With each step he takes, Daniel unwittingly retraces a journey that began in 1733, when another young man came to Venice. And when, in this realm of intrigue and beauty, two lovers came face-to-face with a killer - and a mystery was born.

Journal Entry 2 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, September 07, 2005
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 Internet to refresh my memory of Venetian history and to fill in the gaps where I have forgotten or was uninformed.

Thank you quinnsmom! Another superb recommendation!!! And thank you MartiP, you absolute DOLL!!!

Pictured: La Pieta, on the Lagoon in Venice's Castello district. From 1703 to 1740, Antonio Vivaldi was the music director in this orphanage. From this site. I would have put in a picture of Paganini, but that would be cheating!

Journal Entry 3 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Thursday, September 08, 2005
Sending this off to my favorite QGeek. Just a thought...maybe see if fsr still wants to read it before returning it to me. She's a fairly reliable sort and would get it back to me--as long as she promises not to send squirrels with it!


Journal Entry 4 by wingResQgeekwing from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I arrived home from work last night to find a large white envelope on the kitchen table with the mail. I immediately knew that it was from bookczuk, but I was surprised when I picked it up and realized that it included two books! I'm looking forward to this virtual return to the most romantic city I've ever visited. This book will be placed on the top of the TBR pile, and I'll read it very soon.

Journal Entry 5 by wingResQgeekwing from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Friday, October 14, 2005
Venice, 1733 - A young Jewish violinist violates Venitian law and custom to perform with Vivaldi at La Pietà. But her ambition is larger, and she risks everything to have her own music, revealed anonymously, performed. The concerto is a resounding success, but greedy men prevent her from claiming the accolades she's due. In the ensuing struggle, the score for her composition is lost...

Venice, today - Daniel Forster arrives in Venice to catalog an old man's library. In the process, he unearths a long-lost anonymous concerto, setting in motion another chain of tragedy. Caught up in a scheme to profit from the find, he finds himself cast in the unlikely role of composer. As he is pulled ever further into the intrigue, he struggles to protect his friends and save his own life.

Well written, with complex and believable characters, these twin stories alternate as they progress down parallel paths. The past and present overlap, with surprising consequences. This is a wonderfully tale, with beautiful and loving descriptions of both the city and the music. The use of Tintoretto's "Temptation of Christ" as a metaphor for the choices we make is especially powerful, and helps fuel the underlying themes of the book. With a wonderful setting, interesting characters, and a plot so full of twists it keeps you guessing right to the very end, what more could you ask for in a book?

Journal Entry 6 by wingResQgeekwing from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, October 17, 2005
I'll be taking this to the post office later today, to send it off to fsr44 in Rhode Island, via a squirrel-free media mail package. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 7 by fsr44 from Pawtucket, Rhode Island USA on Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Received today! Can't way to read it, thanks!

Journal Entry 8 by fsr44 from Pawtucket, Rhode Island USA on Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Hello and welcome to Picky Pedant's Corner. I'm midway through the book, and something about the central premise is bugging me. Violins are extremely sensitive to extremes of heat and humidity. Given the frequency of flooding in Venice, I find it hard to believe that a violin buried for 10 years would be even remotely playable. And yet, the first time this instrument is picked up and tried out after it's unearthed, it sounds beautiful and it's immediately clear what a priceless piece it is.
I'll ask a musician friend of mine and if I'm wrong, I'll edit this, but it has been nagging at me such that I just had to write it down.

Journal Entry 9 by fsr44 from Pawtucket, Rhode Island USA on Monday, November 14, 2005
I wanted to love this one, honestly, I did. But it left me cold. In trying to assess why (other then the previously stated problem with the central premise), I have to say that I never cared about any of the characters. I didn't sympathize with them, I didn't care what happened to them. I thought the parallel stories bit was sort of creaky...I've seen it used before to far greater effect. I have no quarrel with the writing style; Venice is beautifully evoked, but for me, the book was doomed by its structure.
It did, however, serve to remind me of how much I loved the film "The Red Violin" (similar theme, executed brilliantly...if you haven't seen it, rent it) and the Venice-based mysteries of Donna Leon.
I'll be sending this back to bookczuk, unless there's someone she would like me to pass it on to.

Journal Entry 10 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Monday, November 21, 2005
Arrived safely home where it toddled off to bumma's room and her TBR pile. Thanks FSR. It traveled with a companion book, which though I've read, I look forward to revisiting. Once a nurse, always a nurse!

Journal Entry 11 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Monday, January 30, 2006
With bumma now.

Journal Entry 12 by wingbummawing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, April 14, 2006
I have such mixed feelings about this book,Just as I was becoming involved with what was happening,boom abd we'd be in another time. Too disconcerting. I felt I was in Venice thru the wonderful writing of Hewson. This goes back to bookczuk.

Journal Entry 13 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, April 14, 2006
I think MartiP was interested in this one so I shall ask her when I see her
next (which will be tomorrow when we do the great Pete trade-off. Skyring
arrives in Charleston, and being a good Catholic I'll be at the Easter
Vigil when his plane touches down. So Marti and MrP are picking him up
and taking him off to a pub until either the Mass is over or the incense
drives me outdoors to the parking lot. Such is life.

Journal Entry 14 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Sunday, April 16, 2006
Offering up at the meetup we are having in honor of Skyring today...and it's at my house!!!

Journal Entry 15 by MartiP on Sunday, April 16, 2006
Nabbed at our "welcome SkyRing" party at bookczuk's today.

Journal Entry 16 by MartiP on Monday, April 24, 2006
As one who adores both Venice and convoluted mysteries, I fully expected to like this book, and I did. Very few nitpicks, other than a mild annoyance with the author's insistence that growing harder and more cynical is somehow the penultimate harbinger of maturity. He, IMHO, rather flogged that dubious point with several of his characters. Still, it was very evocative of Venice, with enough twists and turns to completely hook me. I stayed up until 2 am on a worknight to finish it, and that *must* mean that I was pretty entrenched in the story!

This will be going back to bookczuk.

P.S. I explained in more depth my all-nighter with this book here

Journal Entry 17 by bookishbunny from Columbia, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I received this yesterday from the lovely MartiP! I can't wait. She sucked me in with her 'review' of it. I moved it to the very top of the TBR list, then it will be sent to janey-canuck. Yay! Thanks MartiP!

Journal Entry 18 by bookishbunny from Columbia, South Carolina USA on Monday, July 10, 2006
I finally finished it. It would have been a lot sooner if I weren't so tired at night. It's a great book. I'm so thankful to MartiP for sending it! Next, it's off to janey-canuck. I'll label it 'travelling' as soon as I get it in the mail.

Journal Entry 19 by bookishbunny from Columbia, South Carolina USA on Friday, November 17, 2006
Finally sent it off to janey-canuk. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Journal Entry 20 by janey-canuck from Guelph, Ontario Canada on Monday, November 27, 2006
received today - completely forgot it was coming, but I can't wait to read it!

Journal Entry 21 by janey-canuck from Guelph, Ontario Canada on Sunday, January 28, 2007
Wow - this was a great read. Oddly, it put me to sleep every time I picked it up, so it took a long time to get through but I really enjoyed it!

I didn't really see the plot twist at the end until it was right up on me. I really enjoyed the way the book was written, how it all came together and how twisted it was in a number of places. I'm sure I'm not the only one that thought the characters of today were equivalents of characters of yore. I'll definitely be keep my eye out for more books by this fellow - I loved the Da Vinci Code and thought this was along a similar line as it. Don't ask me why, because now that I think about it, there aren't a lot of similarities.

Anyway, thanks to bookishbunny for sending it to me. If there is ever anything I've got that you'd like, just let me know. I'm going to try to RABCK this forward, so hopefully, it will continue it's travels!!

Journal Entry 22 by janey-canuck from Guelph, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Sent off in the mail to HoserLauren.


Journal Entry 23 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I received this today as a RABCK from the very generous janey-canuck! I can't believe how much Canada Post made you pay for postage! It's only an hours drive between here and Waterloo. That postage amount probably was enough to pay for gas for at least 1/2 the trip for everything on the truck! lol
I skimmed through the journal entries because I didn't want to ruin anything for myself but wanted to see where the book has been. It has quite a history!

Thanks for sending this along to me! :)

Journal Entry 24 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, March 30, 2007
Lucifer's Shadow follows two parallel stories that take place about 250+ years apart. The 1733 story follows Lorenzo Scacchi, a printer's apprentice, in the time of Vivaldi. Lorenzo and a young Jewish woman put their necks on the line to play and write music. Something that, ironically, they would have no troubles doing in the time period of the later story. That story involves Daniel, an Englishman brought to Venice by Scacchi to help "sort a library". Of course, nothing of the sort happens and Daniel follow in Lorenzo's footsteps very closely, but in a different era.
I loved the effect of the parallel stories, and even though they were very close, I didn't find myself getting bored by other story because the characters were very real. The descriptions were also fantastic. I have never been to Venice (or anywhere in Italy) but the book helped me paint a great picture.
There were plenty of twists and turns. Some that I never expected, which puts the book up a couple notches in my mind because usually I can figure out what is going to happen before it actually does.
However, there are some completely unrealistic aspects of the book. As fsr44 already mentioned, a violin picked up out of a coffin after 10 years of being underground would be warped, and the strings would be brittle. Of all places in the world to play a stringed instrument, I imagine that Venice would be very troublesome because of the water, which would create constant problems with tuning.
Overall, quite an enjoyable mystery!

First to aceofhearts, then to catsalive.

PS - I'm looking forward to meeting many of you at the convention (I just need to get my registration in..... :) )

Journal Entry 25 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 08, 2007
This book is with me now :)

Journal Entry 26 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, April 27, 2007
I loved the book. This story is about a violin and a piece of music and a lot of very greedy people. 1733 and present day Venice are presented in the form of a wonderful mystery

The intertwining stories and the bit of history were great. I have been to Venice and the descriptions brought all the memories back. I never, until I set the book down and had time to think, saw the twist. WOW!!!. When one never sees the twist coming that is one great mystery.

One nitpick would be the author's use of italics. Sometimes the past was written in italics and sometimes it wasn't.It would have nice to be a bit more consistent

A side note: I finished this book at the Charleston Convention which is where this book started its journey :)

Journal Entry 27 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 29, 2007
I mailed this book out on Saturday via the Virginia post office to Australia. It's on its way to catsalive! ENjoy!

Journal Entry 28 by catsalive from Rooty Hill, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, March 20, 2008
Woohoo!! Look what's turned up at my place, Lauren. It's only taken 11 months to get here, the packaging is mangled & dirty but the book is fine. I really didn't expect to see it, thought it was lost in postal never never.

This book is AKA The Cemetery of Secrets.

Journal Entry 29 by catsalive from Rooty Hill, New South Wales Australia on Monday, October 05, 2009
I really wanted to like this book but it left me cold. I don't think the writing was particularly good nor particularly accurate, and the eloquence of Lorenzo Scacchi didn't ring true for me. It may have evoked an idealised Venice, but not the one I remember. I couldn't get interested in any of the characters, past or present, which the jumping around didn't help. I grew impatient with its meanderings & had to skim large sections just to get it finished. Disappointing.

Journal Entry 30 by catsalive at Australia, Book Relay -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, October 08, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (10/7/2009 UTC) at Australia, Book Relay -- Controlled Releases



Sent to jennymidget for the make me read it relay.

Journal Entry 31 by jennymidget from Bellbowrie, Queensland Australia on Monday, October 12, 2009
Thanks cats - we'll give it a go!

Journal Entry 32 by jennymidget from Bellbowrie, Queensland Australia on Thursday, January 14, 2010
Two ambitious stories in one attempt to entertwine here - but not very well, I thought. I found the eighteenth-century narrative a lot more appealling than the modern day one (largely because Daniel was an incredibly annoying character!) and the jumps from one story to the other weren't seamless. And so much for "Daniel Forster is seduced by the city's mystery and eroticism" - neither narrative does much to convey the grandeur of Venice. I will admit that the final twists in each storyline weren't ones I'd seen coming, which I liked a lot. However, the book was a bit too under-written (is that the right word? is that even a word?) for me to give it more than 7 stars...

Going to AmberC for the "Relay from Hell"...

Journal Entry 33 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Thursday, January 21, 2010
Arrived today. My daughter wants to read it before it gets onto my TBR shelves.

Journal Entry 34 by wingamberCwing at Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I preferred the story from 1733 more than the modern setting.

Journal Entry 35 by wingamberCwing at Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Friday, September 21, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (9/21/2012 UTC) at Darwin, Northern Territory Australia


Southern Cross Book Exchange release.

Journal Entry 36 by jubby at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, October 06, 2012
Received in the post earlier this week as part of The Southern Cross Book Exchange (over on

Thank you very much AmberC.

Released 6 yrs ago (11/24/2012 UTC) at Kangaroo Valley general store in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia


Life these days is getting away from me. Well my reading time is.

So, I had this idea that I would release those bookcrossing books that are in my pocession that I don't think I'll read in the next year.

And release this one I did. I placed it on the book exchange shelves outside the general store this morning.

Happy reading.

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