Hewson, David 1953-

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HEWSON, David 1953-

PERSONAL:

Born 1953; married; wife's name Helen (a reporter). Hobbies and other interests: Food, travel, and wine-making.

ADDRESSES:

Home—North Downs, Kent, England. Office—P.O. Box 418, Ashford TN25 5WZ, England.

CAREER:

Journalist and author. Scarborough Evening News, Scarborough, England, trainee reporter; Times, London, England, reporter; Independent, London, England, feature editor; Sunday Times, London, England, computer and technology columnist.

AWARDS, HONORS:

W. H. Smith Fresh Talent Award, 1996, for Semana Santa.

WRITINGS:

Shanghai Thunder, Hale (London, England), 1986.

The Quark XPress Companion: Additional Know-How for Professional Publishing Results with the Macintosh, Heyden (London, England), 1988.

Introduction to Desktop Publishing: A Guide to Buying and Using a Desktop Publishing System, John Taylor Book Ventures (Hatfield, England), 1989.

Granada and Eastern Andalucia (travel), Merehurst Press (London, England), 1990.

Mallorca (travel), Merehurst Press (London, England), 1990.

Seville and Western Andalucia (travel), Merehurst Press (London, England), 1990.

Semana Santa (novel), HarperCollins (London, England), 1996.

Epiphany (novel), HarperCollins (London, England), 1996.

Solstice (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Native Rites (novel), HarperCollins (London, England), 2000.

Lucifer's Shadow (novel), HarperCollins (London, England), 2001.

A Season for the Dead ("Nic Costa" series), Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.

The Villa of Shadows ("Nic Costa" series), Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.

ADAPTATIONS:

Semana Santa was made into a feature film in 2002.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Novels in the "Nic Costa" series.

SIDELIGHTS:

David Hewson began his writing career in journalism, but in the mid-1990s he returned to his first interest: fiction. Hewson's books include various interests—such as Mediterranean travel and computer and space sciences—that have also characterized his journalism. Hewson's first novel, Semana Santa, takes place during Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, in Seville, Spain. Detective Maria Delgado sets out to track down a ruthless killer who has murdered a pair of modern artist brothers in a way that recalls a famous painting. Delgado, who is an outsider from Madrid, is not supposed to be involved in the investigation, but she finds herself drawn further and further into the matter. Soon the killer chooses her as the next victim.

Hewson drew on his familiarity with technology and science for his third novel, Solstice. "Just when we thought we might run out of natural disasters to unnerve us in thriller fiction," stated reviewer William F. Nicholson in USA Today, "David Hewson has come up with solar flares." In the book, technologist Michael Lieberman has been hired by a solar research station based on the island of Mallorca, off the coast of Spain, to investigate increased sunspot activity that has accelerated global warming to the boiling point. Complicating Lieberman's research is the fact that someone seems to have harnessed the increased heat to a weapons system and is attacking research satellites. When Air Force One is burned out of the sky, the CIA and FBI enlist Lieberman's help to find the culprit. Suspicion soon falls on Lieberman's former partner, Charley Pascale, who helped Lieberman design a superweapon-carrying satellite called "Sundog." It turns out that Pascale, who is dying from a debilitating disease, has hijacked Sundog and turned its weapons against Earth. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the author "cleverly mines the increasing vulnerability of the world's computer-dependent infrastructure to provide a megahertz action thriller."

Hewson's novel Lucifer's Shadow evokes the atmosphere of the historic city of Venice. The story is about Oxford student Daniel Forster, who has been hired to catalogue the eclectic collection of antiques dealer Signor Scacchi. Forster is confused about Scacchi's motives in hiring him, until he realizes that the dealer is depending on him to discover something that will save him from his severe economic problems. Soon Forster uncovers an unknown violin concerto that might have been written by the eighteenth-century composer Antonio Vivaldi. At the same time, the student realizes that everyone he knows in Venice has been misleading him. The Birmingham Post's Jess Hybert commented, "Leaping back and forth between the past and present, Hewson's tale of good and evil is as enjoyable for its historical context as for its tense narrative development."

A Season for the Dead begins a series of detectivefiction novels featuring a Roman investigator and policeman named Nic Costa. Costa, stated Washington Post Book World contributor Patrick Anderson, "is a curiosity. He is twenty-seven, slender, handsome, a runner, a vegetarian and a passionate admirer of the painter Caravaggio." The young policeman's interest in the Renaissance painter is fortuitous, because he gets drawn into a murder investigation that centers on the sex life of a professor of early Christianity named Sara Farnese. Someone is murdering Sara's former lovers in ways reminiscent of early Christian martyrdoms—a topic that Caravaggio often depicted in his artwork. Most critics praised the book. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commended the "outsized, eccentric characters" and "abundance of historical detail" and concluded that the book was "engrossing." Laura A. B. Cifelli, writing in Library Journal, remarked that the book "offers a … compelling view of the public art of Rome and the private intrigue of the Vatican." San Francisco Chronicle contributor David Lazarus concluded, "A Season for the Dead has a number of attractions, not least its great detail and rich historical underpinning."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Birmingham Post (Birmingham, England), July 7, 2001, Jess Hybert, review of Lucifer's Shadow, p. 53.

Booklist, May 1, 2004, Jennifer Baker, review of Lucifer's Shadow, p. 1504.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2004, review of A Season for the Dead, p. 111; July 1, 2004, review of Lucifer's Shadow, p. 596.

Library Journal, February 15, 2004, Laura A. B. Cifelli, review of A Season for the Dead, p. 161.

Publishers Weekly, June 7, 1999, review of Solstice, p. 71; February 2, 2004, review of A Season for the Dead, p. 57.

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), April 2, 2004, Jane Dickinson, review of A Season for the Dead, section D, p. 31.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 4, 2004, Mark Lazarus, review of A Season for the Dead, section M, p. 4.

USA Today, September 10, 1999, William F. Nicholson, review of Solstice, section E, p. 2.

Washington Post Book World, April 12, 2004, Patrick Anderson, review of A Season for the Dead, p. 2.

ONLINE

David Hewson Home Page,http://www.davidhewson.com (August 12, 2004).*

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