BLOOD OF THE WICKED is the first book in the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series by Leighton Gage. I’d never heard of the series before stumbling upon a reference to it in a Goodreads group. I was trying to see if I was the only one writing a mystery series set in the Americas and a fellow mystery lover had listed it in a thread. In addition to discovering the Mario Silva series, I also discovered that besides myself, Leighton Gage, and Jerry Last, there aren’t many writing mysteries set in the Americas for the English-speaking audience.
Goodreads didn’t steer me wrong. Silva is an enigmatic protagonist with a disturbing but understandable backstory. I liked the way Gage wove in the backstory but didn’t try and force-fit it into the plot. The story starts as a whodunit murder mystery that Silva and his federal police team has to solve but they quickly find out that there are underlying problems in the smallish town where the murder occurred. Local civil authority is totally corrupt, however, and resent the intrusion by Silva and his small team of federales.
The prize in this book is the absolute authenticity. From the descriptions of the locations to the issues that create much of the drama to the characters who are so truly Brazilian, you’ll be surprised at the end that the book wasn’t in Portuguese. Gage’s style comes right at you, nothing flowery or extraneous. Good plotting, pacing and characters. But there is violence and gore and the disregard for human life that hemisphere-watchers read about in the newspapers or see on Blog del Narco. I would have liked more of Silva’s personal life; he’s not as well-rounded as he might have been. But overall this is a book written with grit, talent and an insider’s view of Brazil. If you like mysteries, this is a series to investigate.
I spent 30 years with the CIA. My official resume says things like “distinguished record of solutions-driven leadership across multiple mission areas,” and “led program responsible for collection, translation, and analysis of breaking events,”...read more
My great-uncle Nicky was the second-to-the-youngest of my grandfather’s five brothers. He was missing most of his right index finger. During WWII, while my grandfather turned out copper ship hulls as a foreman at the Revere Copper and Brass rolling mill,...read more
My most recent book, 43 MISSING: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 6, was inspired by the events of September 2014 when 43 students from a teacher's college in the town of Ayotzinapa, near Acapulco in Mexico's state of Guerrero, disappeared in the nearby town of...read more
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I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat. More