Blood of the Wicked, by Leighton Gage

Blood of the Wicked 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. Globus 2

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.

Blood of the Wicked has been reviewed by International Noir Fiction,  Mysteries in Paradise, DJs krimiblog, Crime Scraps, Reviewing the evidence, Kittling Books

See also:

Leighton Gage website

Barnes & Noble

An interview with Leighton Gage at Crime Watch

Crime Scraps: An interview with Leighton Gage Part I, Part II and Part III.

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

ISBN: 978-1-56947-470-9

7 thoughts on “Blood of the Wicked, by Leighton Gage”

  1. >Jose Ignacio – Thanks for this thoughtful review. Brazil is much more complex than just a tourist mecca, so I'm glad that Gage does not try to put too perfect a face on it. Your review reminds me of the time I spent there (it has been a very long time!). I didn't, thank goodness, have anything terrible happen to me, but even then, you could see some of the forces that have led to today's Brazil…

  2. >Your phrase that the the book had 'an urgency to tell to many stores' is an excellent one. I think it is a symptom of many first books – perhaps the authors think they'll never have another book or something.I really must get around to reading this one though as it sounds like a series I would need to start at the beginning. You have reminded me to get a move on (if only I had more time).

  3. >Very good review, Jose Ignacio. I have been thinking about reading this series for a while but am not sure whether to start at the start or with the latest. I read a review of the latest recently at International Noir Fiction, where Glenn wrote that one could start with that one, without reading the previous. I am torn, as like Bernadette, I do like to start a series at the beginning.

  4. >I read this book after reading Gage's new one, due later this year. I so enjoyed his characters and his realistic look at crime in Brazil that I now have his other two books in my TBR stack. In both of Gage's books I've read, he propels the story forward, always. There's no lag time with nothing happening but travelogue.

  5. >I can also see it has a weakness or two, but I think it is a fine debut and I am looking forward to his fourth (the ARC is waiting on my shelf).

  6. >Margot thanks for your comment.Bernadette, I think you are right about the first book symptom.Maxine I'm positive about Gage's books getting better. You can read Glenn's reviews in this sense.Naomi I'm planning to read all Gage's books in order.Dorte I do accept it is a fine debut and I look forward to read your review of Every Bitter Thing.

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