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Publisher's Summary

On an August night on a small island near Venice, a fire explodes in a glassmaking shop. When help arrives, two people are dead, a rich Englishman is implicated, and investigators from Rome are assigned a case no one wants them to solve.

On their private island, the Arcangelo family defies the world: living in a decaying palazzo, making glass in a terrifying, archaic furnace, watching their absurd exhibition hall sink into disrepair. But now the world is coming to their dying outpost in a crumbling corner of a Venice that tourists never see. Police boats and vaporetti bring investigators, curiosity seekers, and one man who plans to own the property himself. With two family members consumed by the foundry fire, both mystery and opportunity have been bared to the bone.

On special assignment from Rome, Detective Nic Costa, along with his partner, his boss, and a dogged pathologist named Teresa Lupo, is getting in the way of progress, Venetian-style. They know that Uriel Arcangelo and his wife were murdered. They know that a predatory Englishman must be a suspect, as is the family of the murdered woman. And while everyone wants the Roman cops to give up and go home, they can't...because a matter of desire, death, and lies has just turned murderously on one of them.

©David Hewson; (P)W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Lizard's Bite

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The characters grow on you

I started late with this thriller series and am now trying to catch up with earier releases in chronological order.

At first I thought the Italian police investigators were a bit too stereotyped for my liking but the cast does grow on you. David Hewson´s novels are filled with excellent descriptions of Rome and Italy, and not only the tourist spots featured, for example, in Dan Brown´s work. The stories around Nic Costa and his entourage of colleagues are basically very interesting and cleverly plotted, and "The Lizard´s Bite", set near Venice, is no exception.

I also appreciate that all dialogue is not performed with some overdone weird Italian accent but in clear precise English and look forward to listening to all future releases from David Hewson.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Brits in Italy

This is a tough review to make and write. It is between a 3 and a 4 star but we don't have that choice so I went with a weak 4. I was a little bothered by the British accent of the narrator with Italian characters. Also at times the author became overly literary and went off on descriptive tangents with overly drawn metaphors that might be found in a classic English romantic novel. That said, David Newson can tell a good story. Great plot and plot twists. Lots of clues and lots of red herrings. Good characters and good character development. As I said, it is hard to review but worth a listen. I will give him another try in this Nick Costa series.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Listening to this book is like watching a movie

The Nick Costa series of books are a great listen. The characters are developed over the whole series so be sure to start at the beginning of the series. The books are a wonderful blend of Italy (at least Rome and Venice) today as well as a look back into history. Every book allows you to easily picture exactly what is going on and where it is happening...Hewson paints the scene and pace so well, you feel like you are watching something instead of listening. I hope audible gets Dante's Peak soon!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 04-16-08

Intriging and inventive story

I've only recently discovered David Hewson's writings. I've been working my way through his Rome detective series and have been impressed by the sheer range of imaginative stories he has thought up. He creates a great sense of atmosphere and place (this story is set in Venice). He has created a quartet of characters who come alive on the page as one follows their progress through the series. Although each book stands alone as a great listen, there is merit in following the series chronologically as there are developments that unfold across time.
The sequence of books has different narrators but the one for this book is particularly good.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • G. Ryan
  • 02-08-08

Well developed ...

... characters whom I feel I'm getting to know. The story was very engaging and kept me guessing to the end. There was also a strong sense of danger and menace which combined to make this very gripping.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 05-26-21

Venice

This really evokes the Venetian spirit as seen by the main characters from Rome. Nicely plotted and very well read.

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  • Gungadin
  • 12-17-20

a lot of talking plot at the start

takes a while to get into this story but the imagery is great and enjoyed the plot eventually

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  • Caroline
  • 12-03-20

Fave Nic Costa book so far.

I really enjoy David Hewson's writing. I am late to the Nic Costa party but enjoyed Lucifer's Shadow very much and was delighted to find this continued its plot. It also included characters from Carnival of the Dead which is set some years after this book. I enjoyed the consistency across all three books.
I disliked the mock Italian accents in the first 2 Nic Costa books but am grateful Saul Reichlin is no longer doing them.
We learned more about Falconi's back story which was interesting. A lovely read for fans of the series as it builds on the characters. I enjoy seeing them evolve.
An interview with the author is included at the end, which was a lovely addition.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gordon Macdonald
  • 01-31-18

Keeping up the standard.

Realistic story, well read and keeps the interest up. Much more interesting to head of parts of Venice and its people away from the tourist spots.
Hope the team returns to Venice in the future.

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  • Allan Hugman
  • 11-24-15

Banquished to Venice.

Nick Costa and company sent to Venice after solving a case and embarrassing Stoic superiors to walk the streets. Looking at a change and a time to develop relationships and lick wounds but soon bored they are soon exceeding their brief to keep out of trouble as they piece together a web of disconnected happenings.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith
  • 02-06-15

An enjoyable read, plenty of twists and turns.

Expectations met. A worthy addition to the Nic Costa series, long may he and his colleagues detect! Back to Rome.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jill
  • 01-30-08

Long but worth it

Not always an easy 'listen' as it goes the long way round; but well worth it in the end.