#GuestPost from David Hewson, author of The Savage Shore @david_hewson @severnhouse #LoveBooksGroup

Posted November 8, 2018 by Zoé in Guest Posts, Reviews and Stuff / 1 Comment

#GuestPost from David Hewson, author of The Savage Shore @david_hewson @severnhouse    #LoveBooksGroup

The Savage Shore by David Hewson
Published by CRA]Me de La Crime on November 1, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Crime
Pages: 288

Detective Nic Costa finds himself a stranger in a strange land when he's sent to infiltrate the mob in a remote part of southern Italy.

Roman police detective Nic Costa has been sent undercover to Italy's beautiful, remote Calabrian coast to bring in the head of the feared mob, the 'Ndrangheta, who has offered to turn state witness for reasons of his own.

Hoping to reel in the biggest prize the state police have seen in years, the infamous Butcher of Palermo, Costa and his team are aware the stakes are high. But the constant deception is taking its toll. Out of their depth in a lawless part of Italy where they are the outcasts, not the men in the hills, with their shotguns and rough justice, the detectives find themselves pitched as much against one another as the mob. As the tension rises, it's clear the operation is not going to plan. Is Nic Costa getting too close to the enemy for comfort - and is there a traitor among them ...?

Welcome today to my stop, where I welcome David as he has written something just for my blog. We learn today about the Savage Shore series! Before we hear from David, here is what some of the bloggers are saying on the tour…

Joyful Antidotes says

The Savage Shore has a well thought out plot with just the right blend of action and tension. For every scene we have of Nic working undercover, we have a scene showing the frustration of his team as they try to sit tight without knowing what is going on.

Goodreads reviewer says

The Savage Shore is a great read, one of the best so far this year for me, so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

Goodreads reviewer says

The book is a mixture of the romanticism and reality of life in an area seemingly forgotten by Italian, and European, politics – on one side, the myths and legends with which each chapter begins and which tell how the Calabrian people came to inhabit this rugged landscape; on the other, the petty crime, the forced servitude of African immigrant sellers of fake luxury items. Despite clear evidence of these realities, Nic Costa is subtly enticed by the ‘idea’ of the ’Ndrangheta, described in the fictional guide as “Criminals ‘full of a strong goodness’”, and it is clear that David Hewson fell for Calabria when researching the novel, but that is forgivable perhaps, given how much I want to see the region after reading about his version of it. I really enjoyed ‘The Savage Shore’ and hope it won’t be another seven years before we revisit the characters.

Savage Shore series – David Hewson

I love writing and I love writing series books. But I don’t want to write series books alone. Since putting the Costa novels on hold in 2010 my work has taken me to Florence, Copenhagen, Venice, New York and Amsterdam, the latter for four books featuring a Dutch detective Pieter Vos.

I’ve loved every minute of these challenges but every inch of the way I’ve been getting pleas from readers: when will Nic Costa be back? I left him riding a scooter back into Rome at the end of book nine, The Fallen Angel. All his fellow characters were in place too. I’m not a believer in killing characters readers love for effect. And I knew I would get back to them one day when the time seemed right.

You’re always asked two questions in these situations: how does it work? Is it hard to get back into the characters after such a gap? Are they now different?

The first… not really. When you’ve spent the best part of ten years with the same set of characters in your head, as I did with Costa and co from the first book A Season for the Dead to Fallen Angel, they don’t leave easily. While I was working on those books I had each one of them constantly in my head. I knew how they spoke, how they reacted to different situations, what they liked and disliked. And if I needed to remind myself, I could just go back to the books that were out there to get it all back.

With The Savage Shore it was made much easier because I already had the first 25,000 words of the book in draft anyway. I knew that when Costa returned it would have to be somewhere other than Rome. A hiatus of nearly a decade demanded a change of scene. I didn’t just want to roll him into the same kind of situation we’d visited already. So around 2008 I started visiting the largely unknown region of Calabria in the far south with the idea of taking the crew down there.

By 2010, when I was putting them on ice to adapt the Copenhagen TV series The Killing to novels, I had that opening section already finished, and a pretty clear idea of where the story would go after that.

And there it stayed until 2017 when, after a change of publisher and several years away from my Roman friends, I decided it was time for them to end their long vacation.

Are they different? No, not really. Over the earlier nine books their characters developed and became clearer in my head, which always happens with series. Costa is young, determined, a kind of moral fulcrum around which the narrative hangs. But the supporting cast is important too. The older, emotionally intelligent Gianni Peroni is an important player in this particular story because he, more than any other, can appreciate the peril the crew find themselves in as they try to engineer the surrender of a Calabrian gang lord to the police.

But the other two favourites, Teresa Lupo, the forensic officer, and the stiff but decent boss Falcone are there too, pretty much unchanged. I wanted the world around them to be different, and in the exotic and perilous location of Calabria it definitely is. But the heart of any series, any story, must be the characters really.

And here they are back in business, determined, confused, prone to misreadings and mistakes, imperfect but essentially decent and committed to getting things right.

It was great to be back in their company. I hope you find that too.

What a fascinating read! Thank you for stopping by David and sharing this us! 

Follow the rest of the tour here

About David Hewson

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, The Sunday Times and the Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing. He lives near Canterbury in Kent

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