Mike Ripley, the veteran critic of Shotsmag, is the first to offer an opinion on The Garden of Angels. Very flattered to have impressed Mr. Ripley. No idea how many reviews I can expect in the weeks to come in these extraordinary times. As I said earlier, if you want to get your hands on a physical copy of the book, you need to plan.
Here’s an extract from Mike Ripley’s piece. You can find the full review here. Many thanks to all at Shotsmag which has been doing such a sterling job for many years.
…this is not a straightforward thriller of wartime heroic. Yes, there are heroics, sometimes in the most unlikely way, betrayals and great tragedies, proving that in such a situation, nothing is straightforward and passive inaction might just be the greatest sin. The Garden of Angels is populated by complex, superbly-drawn characters and Hewson cleverly creates sympathy for even the most unlikely ones, but the star of the show is Venice itself, its dank, cramped alleyways and faded glories. This is not the Venice of tourists sunning themselves in St Mark’s Square or on lazy gondola rides, but of an icy winter in a city under occupation where fishermen, weavers, policemen, café owners and disillusioned priests struggle to survive and do the right thing, whatever that is.
David Hewson has written some excellent thrillers. This one, by turns suspenseful and achingly sad, is one of his best.