Friday, March 30, 2007

Lucifer's Shadow by David Hewson

Lucifer's Shadow by David Hewson

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. 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!



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