The picture possessed a frightful beauty, one which burned so brightly that, once witnessed, could never be unseen . . . Even the presence of two corpses, one clearly murdered, the other dead through strange and suspicious circumstances, did nothing to distract their attention from the canvas . . . In a hidden studio in an area of Rome where the Vatican liked to keep an eye on the city's prostitutes, an art expert from the Louvre is found dead in front of one of the most beautiful paintings that Nic Costa has ever seen - an unknown Caravaggio masterpiece. But before long tragedy will strike Nic far closer to home. The main suspect's identity is known, but he remains untouchable - protected in his grand palazzo by a fleet of lawyers and a sinister cult known as the Ekstasists. If Costa and his team can crack the reasons for the cult's existence, he may well stand a chance of nailing the double-killer. But the mystery will take him right back to Caravaggio himself and the reasons he had to flee Rome all those centuries before . . .
David Hewson was born in Yorkshire in 1953. He has worked as a journalist since 1978, most recently for the Sunday Times. This is the sixth novel in his Italian crime series featuring Detective Nic Costa. The author lives in Kent. www.davidhewson.com