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EVERY BITTER THING
by Leighton Gage
Soho, November 2010
288 pages
$25.00
ISBN: 1569478457


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Chief Inspector Mario Silva is not happy to learn that the son of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister has been found dead on his turf. There is no way this will be a routine investigation. First of all, his boss will want all the publicity and Mario will do all of the work. That's to be expected. What Mario doesn't want is the political hassles this is sure to bring.

It doesn't help at all when he finds out that the victim is homosexual; this will not sit well with the victim's father. Luckily, in a perverse kind of way, the victim is one of a series of murders, all connected to a plane flight from Miami. Perhaps his sexual preferences really are irrelevant. This makes the political implications of the case much less important, although the pressure is still on to find the killer quickly.

Mario spends a lot of time trying to establish the connections between the various people on this flight. Once he figures that out, he has to try to connect the murderer to each victim, which is not as easy as one might expect. The realities of conducting a murder investigation while dealing with the information systems of several countries is brought home to the reader without the actual pace of such an investigation slowing down the pace of the book.

Gage writes with great empathy about the perils of police work in Brazil, both the ones that come with any police job and the ones that are unique to Brazil. Mario Silva is a good policeman doing the best he can in a system that does not necessarily reward that sort of behavior. Gage also writes a good mystery novel, with characters readers can recognize and a plot that hangs together well. EVERY BITTER THING is the fourth in the Mario Silva series. One does not have to read them in order for the stories to work. The reader never learns a great deal about the non-police life of the characters, so the back-story that needs to be told is minimal. Gage brings something important to each of his books, and this is part of what makes them such good reads.

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan where she reads and reviews widely across the mystery genre when she isn't working in her local hospital pharmacy.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, August 2010

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