Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category
Leighton Gage, who spent a great deal of his time in Brazil, used his extensive knowledge of the country’s political, economic, and social climate to create an outstanding series of police procedurals. His latest, The Ways of Evil Men, published posthumously, opens with a heartbreaking scene. Anati, a member of the Awana tribe who live in the rainforest, goes hunting with his eight-year-old son, Raoni. When the two return to their village they discover that all thirty-nine members of their tribe are dead. Who killed these men, women, and children? Jade Calmon, an employee of the federal government’s National Indian Foundation, will not stop asking questions until she learns the truth. Since the local law enforcement authorities have no love for the Awana, Jade is forced to pull strings in order to bring in the big guns: Mario Silva, Chief Inspector of the Brazilian Federal Police, Arnaldo Nunes, Silva’s partner, and a support team that includes other agents and an assistant medical examiner.
What an apt title! Patchett at her best is a magician of wonder, and this is indeed among her best…I found myself reading STATE OF WONDER slowly and more slowly, allowing myself to sink into her depth of character, enjoying the deliberate pace of her revelation, reluctant to start another chapter until I had digested the one just finished. The urge to spin out a book for as long as possible is rare for me — but I remember it well from reading Bel Canto, a pivotal experience which reawakened a love of fiction that has never let up.
In Leighton Gage’s EVERY BITTER THING, Chief Inspector Mario Silva of Brazil’s Federal Police is called in when Juan Rivas, the son of Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Rivas, is found shot and brutally beaten. This “would be a killing with political implications, the kind of case he hated above all others.” When Silva finds out that Rivas is not the only victim–the national database shows that four other men were slain in exactly the same manner–his next step is to figure out why these particular people were targeted. Knowing the motive, Mario hopes, will quickly lead to a suspect.
The main character in James Scudamoreâ€™s novel HELIOPOLIS is twenty-seven-year-old Ludo. Born in terrible poverty in a Sao Paulo Favela (shantytown), Ludo and his mother had the good fortune to come to the attention of Rebecca, the British, charity-minded wife of one of the cityâ€™s richest businessmen, Zeno (ZÃ©) Generoso. ZÃ© and Rebecca, who have one daughter, Melissa, formally adopted Ludo, and he has a privileged upbringing which comes with a price; heâ€™s constantly reminded of his humble beginnings, his good fortune and how much he owes to his benefactors. Separated from his mother who remains as the cook at ZÃ©â€™s country estate, Ludo has no self-identity. His life is shaped by the desires of the Generoso family, and while he may be the adopted son, heâ€™s little more than a trained house-serf.
Author Leighton Gageâ€™s third Chief Inspector Mario Silva mystery Dying Gasp centres on a Brazilian snuff film ring. Iâ€™ve read all three of Gageâ€™s novels and while they tackled different social problems in Brazil, DYING GASP is the darkest, grimmest to date. Given the subject matter, that shouldnâ€™t be too surprising. If you havenâ€™t tried the Mario Silva novels yet, and if you enjoy series detective novels with an international, social/political theme, then give Leighton Gage a try. His novels are a cut above most of the detective novels on the market.