The Cemetery of Secrets

Written by David Hewson
Review by Ann Oughton

In the cemetery of San Michele a corpse is exhumed. Rizzo has been paid to supervise this grisly task and remove from the coffin an item of great importance to a certain rich Englishman. At the same time a young Englishman, Daniel Forster arrives in Venice to work for the ancient printing firm of Scacchi.

The story travels back in time to 1733 and the Venice of Vivaldi and Canaletto. Lorenzo Scacchi has fallen in love with a gifted violinist, Rebecca Levi. Rebecca is a Jewess, confined to the ghetto but Lorenzo smuggles her out in the evenings in order to perform, incognito, for Vivaldi at La Pieta.

As Daniel’s story unfolds, so Lorenzo and Rebecca’s story continues in alternating chapters: parallel tales of mystery, murder and betrayal in which the suspense continues to build. 18th-centuryVenice seethes with life; the perfect setting for such nefarious deeds. It is a nostalgic journey for those who already know the city, a magical revelation for those who have yet to discover it. A real page-turner.