Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Every Bitter Thing by Leighton Gage
I've been a fan of Leighton Gage's Chief Inspector Mario Silva books since the first one, Blood of the Wicked. The books focus on Brazil's politics and crime, bringing to light details that most of us don't know. While the books have been graphic at times, the tone has been lightened by the black humor used in the conversations between the police. These are outstanding police procedurals, but the violence may have put some readers off in the past. The cover art may look grim on the latest book, Every Bitter Thing, however Gage has toned down the violence, and placed the emphasis on the police investigation. Readers of police procedurals don't have to be afraid to try the new crime novel.
Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Federal Police is called in when the son of Venezuela's Foreign Minister is found murdered in his apartment in Brasilia. Although the local police want to arrest the man's lover, Silva wants to check the national crime database. It doesn't take long to discover that other people have been murdered in the same way, shot in the abdomen, and brutally beaten. The killings have occurred all over Brasil. Except for one victim, they seem to have only one thing in common. All the victims were passengers on TAB Flight 8101 from Miami to São Paulo, Brazil.
Although the crimes are still brutal in Every Bitter Thing, the emphasis is placed on the investigation of the murders. Gage beautifully captures the relationships between the police officers, with Silva's dry humor. He isn't afraid to poke fun at one of his officers, and he shares a dislike of showboating police officers, and those out for political gain. Silva and his team take their jobs seriously, but they find their own ways to deal with crooked cops, slimy politicians, and criminals whose punishments seem too light. Pay close attention to the conversations so as not to miss the irony and black humor. Despite the dark nature of the crimes, there is wonderful humor in this book, including a very funny scene involving dachshunds.
Leighton Gage is another one of Soho Press' authors who writes outstanding, descriptive crime novels that bring a country vividly to life. Brazil is portrayed with all its political corruption and crime, although Gage also shows the beauty of the country. Every Bitter Thing gives us another glimpse at a beautiful country, suffering from poverty, violence, and corruption, and a small group of men who struggle against terrible odds to try to maintain a semblance of order.