Blood of the Wicked

Blood of the Wicked

Book - 2008
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" Blood of the Wicked manages to pack a huge amount into a spare three hundred pages; power politics, petty violence, sexual scandal, saintly courage, staggering poverty and obscene wealth. A book that makes you care about its large cast of characters, even when you know that they are going to die--frequently horribly. This is a novel as rich and complex as Brazil itself, with villains who make you want to spit, and heroes whose goodness is heartbreaking."--Rebecca Pawel, Edgar Award-winning author of Death of a Nationalist

In the remote Brazilian town of Cascatas do Pontal, where landless peasants are confronting the owners of vast estates, the bishop arrives by helicopter to consecrate a new church and is assassinated.

Mario Silva, chief inspector for criminal matters of the federal police of Brazil, is dispatched to the interior to find the killer. The pope himself has called Brazil's president; the pressure is on Silva to perform. Assisted by his nephew, Hector Costa, also a federal policeman, Silva must battle the state police and a corrupt judiciary as well as criminals who prey on street kids, the warring factions of the Landless League, the big landowners, and the church itself, in order to solve the initial murder and several brutal killings that follow. Justice is hard to come by. An old priest, a secret liberation theologist, finally metes it out. Here is a Brazil that tourists never encounter.

Leighton Gage is married to a Brazilian woman and spends part of each year in Santana do Parnaiba, Brazil, and the rest of the year in Florida and Belgium. This is his first novel.
Publisher: New York : Soho, [2008]
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9781569474709
Branch Call Number: GAG
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 20 cm.


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Jul 17, 2014

This novel is gory, even brutal in its portrayal of the exploitation of the great unwashed masses in Brazil. Probably quite authentic. A very suspenseful read with lots of twists to the plot. Would like to see at least one sequel with Chief Inspector Mario Silva.

Cdnbookworm Feb 11, 2013

This mystery novel set in Brazil features Chief Inspector Mario Silva, and is the first in the series. We get introduced to Mario's past, seeing how he began with the police, the horrible event that drove him to it, and learn about his sense of justice. That was back in 1978. It is now the 21st century and Mario is now Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil. When the bishop is killed very publicly as he arrives in the remote town of Cascatas do Pontal to consecrate a new church, Mario is sent out to find the killer. Mario finds himself in a community with an ongoing and escalating situation between the landless peasants and wealthy landowners who hold uncultivated land.
The state police leader is corrupt and complicit in some of the illegal actions. As the murders begin to pile up, Mario and his team are always one step behind the killers, and he finds that he isn't the only one to take action into his own hands.
With social commentary, a sense of the role of religion in the community, and a feel of the wild west, this mystery has lots of violence and action. An interesting beginning to the series. I found myself asking about the nature of violence and revenge, about the ineffectiveness of standard police methods, and about the ongoing social unrest. Lots to think about.

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