Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Leighton Gage
Soho Press, January 2008
324 pages
ISBN: 1569474702

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Brazil is a country of contrasts. There is incredible wealth in Brazil: money, technology, land. There is also incredible poverty, with a small minority of the population controlling the vast majority of the money and the land. As one might imagine, there is also considerable corruption.

Mario Silva, Chief Inspector of Criminal Matters, is no stranger to the corruption in his country or in his department. When he is ordered to solve the very public murder of a Bishop, and to solve it as quickly as possible, he sends his nephew Hector Costa to the small village of Cascatas do Pontal, where almost nobody is happy to see him. The local police want no part of him. The villagers donít trust him, and neither do the local landowners. The resident priests have mixed reactions, and the local newspaper just wants to get the best story without anyone getting killed.

There are more suspects than one might think. The villagers who are part of the Landless Workers League have several motives. The Bishop represented the Church, and the Church has taken a decidedly pro-landowner stance. They might have killed him as retaliation for the brutal murder of one of their own, and of his entire family. The landowners as a group donít seem to have a motive, although one of them is the obvious suspect in the murder of the LWL family and he does have some motives.

As Costa investigates, more people are killed. He finds out that there is considerable back-story for all of the suspects, which naturally complicates his investigation. All the while, pressure is being put on Silva to make this case go away, and in a manner that doesnít reflect badly upon the Church, the present government, and his current boss.

BLOOD OF THE WICKED is a very competent police procedural. Silva and Costa are trying to be good men in a system that doesnít often reward such behavior. This is not to say they donít bend the rules once in a while, but their motives are usually pretty clear and understandable. The resolution may not satisfy every reader, particularly anyone who requires an ending that takes place within the legal system, but it is certainly believable. Some of the violence is described very graphically, so be aware. It is not gratuitous, but it is unpleasant.

Reviewed by P. J. Coldren, December 2007

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]