Blood of the Wicked is the first book in Chief Inspector Mario Silva series by Leighton Gage. Brasilia based Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil, is sent to investigate the murder of Dom Felipe Antunes, bishop of Presidente Vargas, in the remote town of Cascatas do Pontal in Sao Paulo State. But things are not simple in a country as complex and large as Brazil. Silva with the assistance of his nephew, Delegado Hector Costa and Agente Arnaldo Nunes will find little support if not a total opposition from Emerson Ferraz, the colonel in charge of Cascatas do Pontal’s State Police Battalion. To make things worst Orlando Muniz Junior has been kidnapped not for ransom, but buried alive. His father Orlando Muniz Senior is the wealthiest landowner in Cascatas. The Landless Workers have invaded Muniz’s fazenda (about half the size of Denmark). Diana Poli editor of the local newspaper, Cidade de Cascatas, and her girlfriend Lori, have been found death under strange circumstances. And there is more death, dead squads, meninos da rua (street kids) and liberation theologists. This is a Brazil that tourists hardly have the chance to see.
I found Blood of the Wicked relatively easy to follow despite having an intricate plot. It is a fast paced political thriller that it is masterfully told. Readers should not expect to see the friendly face of Brazil, they will be confronted with a reality that they will not like it but it is there, unfortunately. Violence, rape and sexual abuses, corruption and the inability of the local justice to cope with the size of these problems. I could not put the book down and I had to finish it. However once finished, I found that the last chapters were not totally satisfactory, at least to my taste and I still wonder why there was a need to explain the background of certain characters that do not play a significant role in the plot. It also seems to me that there was an urgency to tell too many stories that could have provide enough ground for different books. But all in all I enjoyed reading this book and I’m looking forward to read the rest of the series.
I’m trying to catch up with some authors and books that I was interested in but I had not read yet. Leighton Gage is one of them. Besides I received this book from Leighton, you can find out the reason HERE. I will therefore use it as my third South America book on Dorte’s 2010 Global Reading Challenge covering Brazil.
An interview with Leighton Gage at Scene of the Crime
Gage, together with other international authors, blogs at Murder is Everywhere, his posts about Brazil are very interesting and educational.
Author: Leighton Gage
Title: Blood of the Wicked
Soho crime, 2008
Number of pages: 324