Leighton Gage In Memoriam

With great sadness I read this morning that Leighton Gage is no longer with us. The announcement at Murder is Everywhere is HERE. Although I had only met him through the Internet, I regarded him a good friend. He has provided me some excellent reading hours. My sincere condolences to his family.

Leighton was the author of a crime fiction book series set in Brazil featuring Chief Inspector Mario Silva. My reviews can be found by clicking on the book title.

PS: Just read at The Rap Sheet that “another Silva tale, The Ways of Evil Men, (is) scheduled for publication by Soho Crime in January of next year.”

Review: Perfect Hatred, by Leighton Gage

Esta entrada es bilingüe, desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano

Soho Press, 2013. eISBN: 978-1-61695-177-1. Chief Inspector Mario Silva Series #6.

A suicide attack at the US consulate in Sao Paulo has left until now sixty-six dead. The type and origin of the explosives used have been identified and lead to a consignment bought by the Paraguayan Army, where three drums have mysteriously disappeared. Mario Silva, Federal Police’s Chief Investigator for Criminal Matters based in Brasilia, is in charge of the investigation. Almost simultaneously in Curitiba, the State Capital of Parana, a politician is shot dead during a demonstration in the last day of his campaign for State Governor. Given the political implications Mario Silva must lead this inquest and, unwillingly, goes to Curitiba. But Silva’s troubles are far from over. A confessed murderer is determined to kill the two men that can send him to prison for the rest of his life, public prosecutor Zenon Parma and inspector Mario Silva. He has the financial resources to carry out his threat.

As the reading progresses, the three stories are alternated to keep the reader’s attention. The story lines unfold mainly through dialogues, making this novel an ideal candidate to be made into a film. As usual, Leighton Gage provides a great deal of information that I particularly find fascinating.

“Marca Zero, the brass-topped monument from which distances to all corners of the State of Sao Paulo are measured, stands on the Praça da Sé, in the heart of the capital. From there to the ferry dock on the island of Ilhabela is a mere 197 kilometers, but getting from one to the other can be an ordeal.

The city is famous for its gridlocks. Kilometer-long congestion arises for no apparent reason. The roads leading to the coast are potholed narrow, hairpinned and steep. The descent from the highland plateau to sea level often involves passing through low-lying clouds that can reduce visibility to a few meters. And there’s often a long wait for the boat. The journey, three hours on a good day, can stretch to eight on a bad one. Yet even on holiday weekends, when the traffic is heaviest, many Paulistas think the time it takes is time well spent.” 

I must disclose I’ve read this book on my Kindle on an ARC that was sent to me by the author, but I would have like to read it anyway. The setting is fascinating and both the stories and characters are very compelling. Leighton Gage provides us with a vivid portrait of Brazil. I enjoyed it very much. The time spent reading this book is time well spent. And I highly recommend it.

Perfect Hatred is the sixth in the series featuring Inspector Mario Silva and can be read as a stand alone book, though it would be better to read the series in chronological order.

My rating: 4/5.

Perfect Hatred has been reviewed by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Norman at Crime Scraps Review

Soho Crime

 

Odio profundo (Perfect Hatred), de Leighton Gage

Un ataque suicida al consulado de EE.UU. en Sao Paulo ha dejado hasta ahora sesenta y seis muertos. La clase y el origen de los explosivos utilizados han sido identificados y conducen a una remesa comprada por el Ejército de Paraguay, de donde han desaparecido misteriosamente tres bidones. Mario Silva, Investigador Jefe de la Policía Federal para asuntos penales con sede en Brasilia, está a cargo de la investigación. Casi al mismo tiempo en Curitiba, la capital del estado de Paraná, un político es asesinado a tiros durante una manifestación en el último día de su campaña para gobernador del estado. Dadas las implicaciones políticas Mario Silva debe liderar esta investigación y, de mala gana, marcha a Curitiba. Pero los problemas de Silva están lejos de haber terminado. Un asesino confeso está decidido a matar a los dos hombres que le pueden enviar a la cárcel para el resto de su vida, el fiscal Zenon Parma y el inspector Mario Silva. Cuenta con los recursos necesarios para cumplir su amenaza.

A medida que avanza la lectura, las tres historias se alternan para mantener la atención del lector. Las tres tramas argumentales se desarrollan principalmente por medio de diálogos, haciendo de esta novela una candidata ideal para ser llevada al cine. Como de costumbre, Leighton Gage ofrece una gran cantidad de información que, particularmente, me parece fascinante.

“Marca Zero, la placa de bronce desde donde se miden todas las distancias a cada rincón del Estado de Sao Paulo, se encuentra en la Praça da Sé, en el corazón de la capital. De ahí al muelle del ferry que lleva a la isla de Ilhabela sólo hay 197 kilometros, llegar de uno a otro punto se puede convertir en un calvario.

La ciudad es famosa por sus atascos. Una congestión kilométrica puede surgir sin ningún motivo aparente. Las carreteras que llevan a la costa se estrechan por los baches, tienen curvas y un gran desnivel. El descenso desde el altiplano hasta el nivel del mar requiere en ocasiones pasar entre nubes bajas que pueden reducir la visibilidad a unos pocos metros. Y, a menudo, la espera para tomar el baco es larga. El viaje de tres horas en un día bueno, puede durar ocho en uno malo. Sin embargo, incluso los fines de semana de vacaciones, cuando el tráfico es más denso, muchos Paulistas piensan que el tiempo que se tarda es un tiempo bien empleado.”

Debo poner de relieve que he leído este libro en mi Kindle gracias a una copia ARC que me envió el autor, pero me hubiera gustado leerlo de todos modos. El entorno es fascinante y tanto las historias como los personajes son muy convincentes. Leighton Gage nos ofrece un vivo retrato de Brasil. Lo disfruté mucho. El tiempo dedicado a la lectura de este libro es un tiempo bien empleado. Y yo lo recomiendo encarecidamente.

Odio profundo es el sexto de la serie protagonizada por el inspector Mario Silva y se puede leer como un libro independiente, aunque sería mejor leer la serie por orden cronológico.

Mi calificación: 4/5.

Review: A Vine in the Blood – Leighton Gage

Esta entrada es bilingue, desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en catellano

Soho Press. Pub date: December 2011. 304 pages. ISBN 978-1-61695-004-0. But for those of you who live outside of the United States and Canada (and a few other places, where sales are also restricted by copyright) there’s a Kindle version.

A Vine in the Blood is the fifth instalment in A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation Book Series by Leighton Gage. It comes right after Every Bitter Thing (Soho Crime, 2010). You can you read my review HERE. It’s not necessary to have read the previous books in the series to fully enjoy this one, but highly recommended.

Brazil is hosting the FIFA World Cup, the globe’s greatest sporting event. The opening is only thirteen days away. As every four years, the nation had gone football (soccer) crazy. There is no player as important to Brazil’s success than Tico “The Artist” Santos. But, Juraci Santos, Tico’s mother, has been abducted. “The Artist” is distraught, the public horrified, and the politicians outraged. All the pressure falls on Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his men to find her before it’s too late. There are several suspects, but all the trails lead to a dead end.

I was left under the impression that this police procedural is written, and very well done indeed, mainly in a dialogue form. Therefore it could be easily made into a film script and it is very easy to read. Besides, as always on Leighton Gage’s books, it does provide a picture of Brazil that it is not easy to find out on tourist brochures but nonetheless this is a real one. Maybe this is one of the reasons of his books’ success. They do provide an image of an amazing country in a way that only if you have been living in the country can grasp, and not always. In this occasion the reader will learn about the role played by the bankers of the jogo do bicho and the samba schools, among other things. Do not hesitate and read this exciting new instalment on the series. I’ve really enjoyed it. In the interest of full disclosure, an Advance Un-copyedited Edition of this book was sent to me by the author. Do not forget to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book.

Leighton Gage is the author of five novels in A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation book series: Blood of the Wicked (2008), Buried Strangers (2009), Dying Gasp (2010), Every Bitter Thing (2010), and A Vine in the Blood (2011). His next book Perfect Hatred, the sixth in the series, is scheduled to be released in North America in December of 2012. The Ways of Evil Men, the seventh, in December of 2013. He also shares a blog Murder is everywhere, with seven other authors of “international mysteries”.

Leighton Gage was inspired to write these novels after spending over 20 years living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and being immersed in the Brazilian culture. The subjects in his novels are often real problems that exist in Brazil today, problems that are foreign to the American culture (from Wikipedia).

A Vine in the Blood has been reviewed by Glenn at International Noir Fiction, Beth at Murder by Type, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Publishers Weekly, The Big Thrill   

Soho Press

Leighton Gage homepage 

Read also an interview with Leighton Gage.

Una vid en medio de la viña, de Leighton Gage

Tu madre fue como una vid en medio de la viña” (Ezequiel, 19,10)  

Una vid en medio de la viña es la quinta entrega de la serie Una Investigación del Inspector Jefe Mario Silva de Leighton Gage. Aparece justo después de Todo lo amargo (Soho Crime, 2010). Mi crítica la pueden encontrar AQUÎ. No es necesario haber leído los libros anteriores de la serie para disfrutar plenamente de este, pero es muy recomendable.

Brasil es la anfitriona de la Copa del Mundo, el mayor evento deportivo del planeta. Faltan sólo trece días para la inauguración. Como cada cuatro años, la nación se ha vuelto loca por el fútbol. Ningún ningún jugador es tan importante para el éxito de Brasil como Tico Santos, llamado “El Artista”. Sin embargo, Juraci Santos, la madre de Tico, ha sido secuestrada. “El Artista” está destrozado, el público espantado y los políticos indignados. Toda la presión para encontrarla antes de que sea demasiado tarde recae sobre el Inspector Jefe Mario Silva y sus hombres. Hay varios sospechosos, pero todos los caminos les llevan a un callejón sin salida.

Me he quedado con la impresión de que este procedimiento policial está escrito, y muy bien por cierto, principalmente en forma de diálogo. Por lo tanto, puede ser fácilmente convertido en un guión de cine y es de muy fácil lectura. Además, como siempre en los libros de Leighton Gage, proporciona una imagen de Brasil que no es fácil de encontrar en los folletos turísticos, pero que es verdadera. Tal vez sea esta una de las razones del éxito de sus libros. Proporcionan una imagen de un lugar muy interesante de una forma que únicamente si se ha estado viviendo en ese país se puede captar, y no siempre. En esta ocasión, el lector descubrirá el papel que desempeñan los banqueros del jogo do bicho en las escuelas de samba, entre otras cosas. No lo dude y lea esta nueva y emocionante entrega de la serie. Yo la he disfrutado mucho. En interés de proporcionar mayor información, el propio autor me envió un avance no-corregido de este texto. No dejen de leer la Nota del Autor al final del libro.

Leighton Gage es autor de cinco novelas en la serie Una Investigación del Inspector Jefe Mario Silva: Blood of the Wicked (2008), Buried Strangers (2009), Dying Gasp (2010), Every Bitter Thing (2010), and A Vine in the Blood (2011). Su próximo libro Perfect Hatred, el sexto de la serie, tiene prevista su publicación en Norteamérica en diciembre de 2012. The Ways of Evil Men, la séptima entrega, saldrá en diciembre de 2013. Junto con otros siete autores internacionales de libros de crimen y de misterio comparte el blog Murder is everywhere.

Leighton Gage se inspiró en Brasil para escribir estas novelas, después de vivir en Sao Paulo más de 20 años y de quedar inmerso en la cultura brasileña. Los temas que trata en sus novelas son, a menudo, problemas reales que existen en el Brasil de hoy en día. Estos problemas son desconocidos por la cultura de Norteamérica (de Wikipedia).

Every Bitter Thing by Leighton Gage

The Publisher’s blurb reads: ‘When the son of Venezuela’s Foreign Minister is found dead in his apartment in Brasilia, Mario Silva is called to investigate due to the political nature of the crime. He soon discovers that a chain of killings have occurred throughout Brazil, all with the same “modus operandi”: victims are shot first in the stomach, then beaten up to death, and even more puzzling, they were all passengers on TAB flight 8101 from Miami to Sao Paulo.’

Every Bitter Thing is the fourth book in Chief Inspector Mario Silva series by Leighton Gage. I have read before Blood of the Wicked, the first in the series, you can read my blog post HERE. This is what Leighton Gage has to say about his main character:

Mario (Silva) is a federal cop. In Brazil, there’s no DEA, no ATF, no Secret Service, no Customs and Immigration Service, no Department of Homeland Security. And most police departments don’t have internal affairs departments. All of those functions, and more, are within the purview of the Brazilian Federal Police. And their mandate is national. So Silva and his colleagues get to travel all over the country and deal with every conceivable kind of crime. That gives me an opportunity to make each one of the books very different. Example: “Blood of the Wicked”, the first in the series, deals with issues like liberation theology, and the land wars, the battles between the haves and have-nots. “Dying Gasp”, the third, deals with the sexual exploitation of minors in Brazil’s northeast, while book four,”A Vine in the Blood”, involves a serial killer and is a more conventional mystery.’ (Taken from a A Visit with Leighton Gage at Mysterious Writers).

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it for various reasons. It is very well written and keeps the reader’s attention all along its pages. There is a nice plot twist at the very end when the solution of the case seems to be at a dead end. It is also rich in interesting dialogues which are dotted with small doses of humour and full of criticism. The action is set in different sites of Brazil and it has a great sense of place with abundant information about some peculiar locations. The main character is endearing, all the characters are believable, and the bizarre story is plausible. Last but not least it has some thought-provoking topics. I’m sure I’ll read the rest of the books in the series and although this one in particular can be read independently as far as I know it is better to read in order the previous two, Buried Strangers and Dying Gasp, due to the evolution of some common characters. All in all a very satisfying reading.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the author.

Search inside this book at Amazon.com

The Chief Inspector Mario Silva series: Blood of the Wicked (2008), Buried Strangers (2009), Dying Gasp (2010), Every Bitter Thing (2010), A Vine in the Blood (2011).

Every Bitter Thing has been reviewed by Murder by Type, Reviewing the Evidence, The Drowning Machine, The Big Thrill, International Noir Fiction, Crime Scraps, DJ’S Krimiblog, Lesa’s Books Critiques, Mostly Fiction Book Reviews, amongst others.

9mm: An interview with Leighton Gage

This Week’s Guest Blogger: Author Leighton Gage

Leighton Gage webpage

Soho Press

Leighton Gage, together with other international writers, blogs at Murder is Everywhere, his blog posts about Brazil are very interesting and educational.

Author: Leighton Gage

Title: Every Bitter Thing

Soho crime, 2010

pages: 282

ISBN: 978-1-56947-845-5

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

Amazon.com

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