Thursday, March 11, 2010
Format: hardback, 304 pgs.
Characters:Chief Inspector Mario Silva, Delegado Hector Costa
Subject: crime and corruption
Setting: Brasil, 1970-80
Series: Chief Inspector Mario Silva
Genre: detectives, police procedural
Source: public library
Challenge:Support your Public Library, Thrillers and Suspense
This one is a bit violent and bloody for me, but I finished it anyway. I had read the next one in the series, Buried Strangers, and was anxious to back-fill information about the main character. Blood of the Wicked is the first of the Inspector Mario Silva series, set in Brazil. Silva is a member of the Federal Police force, so he is called to various locations throughout the country. Gage gives us a good solid introduction to Brazilian justice in the 60's and 70's during the military rule--not a brand we'd like to have here, and not a pretty site.
In this story, we get Silva's background and motivation for being a cop. We meet his nephew Hector Costa, also a cop, and are introduced to the theory of Liberation Theology, prevalent in South America during that period, but in this story recently condemned by Rome. The story opens with the murder of a Bishop. I don't like to do spoilers, but will say that in solving this murder, Silva must deal with street crime, pedophiles, corrupt (and I mean Very Corrupt) local and state police, even more corrupt judges, more murder, torture, child abuse, martyrs, selfish landowners, landless peasants, corrupt (yes Very Corrupt) and evil priests, saintly priests, abused women, and an obnoxious boss more worried about his image than justice.
In spite of this ugliness, Silva, with the help of a couple of holy people, manages to bring the severest perpetrators to justice. Nuf said. It's a great read, and, if you haven't read any of the others, holds great promise for more to come in future books.