In the heat of a Rome summer, a seven-year-old boy vanishes in the dank catacombs beneath the city. Now fourteen years have passed, and in acclaimed author David Hewson’s stunning new crime novel the heart-wrenching case has come back to life as Detective Nic Costa and his fellow investigators search through layers of their city’s history–for a killer leaving a trail of bodies, lust, and revenge.
When young Alessio Bramante vanished, there was plenty of blame to go around. His father, a
charismatic professor of archaeology, inexplicably left Alessio alone near a labyrinth of ancient
tunnels and excavations. Six of the professor’s university students, fueled by booze and bravado, involved the boy in their own bizarre ritual at an altar of the ancient warrior god Mithras. And then there were the police: a commanding officer left Giorgio Bramante alone with the prime
suspect, allowing Alessio’s father to beat the man to death.
After years in prison, Giorgio has been set free and, one by one, those connected to the boy’s
disappearance are dying. As Costa and his fellow detectives scramble to find Giorgio, they are thrust into a darkening web of hidden perversions and secret passions past and present.
Because at the heart of this case–as close and as far away as Rome’s underground treasures–is the unanswered question: what really happened to little Alessio Bramante fourteen years ago–and why was his body never found?
“Intricate.... [With a] poignant resolution few readers will anticipate.”—Publishers Weekly