Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: The Vine in the Blood by Leighton Gage

Author: Leighton Gage
Publisher-Format: Soho Crime (2011), e-galley, 289 pages
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: organized crime
Setting: Sao Paulo Brasil
Series: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation
Genre: police procedural mystery
Source: e-galley from the author
Recommended? yes -definitely.  For fans of mysteries, Brasil, and police detectives with brains


 Leighton Gage's Inspector Mario Silva series is really growing on me. This is the fifth, and in my humble opinion, the best so far. Inspector Silva is a Brasilian Commissarrio Brunetti, for those of you familiar with Donna Leon's wonderful series set in Venice.Silva is educated, urbane, humane, and eminently competent.

In this one, the Federal Police (of which Silva is a member) are charged with solving the kidnapping of the mother of Brasil's star soccer player just as the World Cup is about to be contested. Without his mother safely home, Tico "The Artist" Santos won't be at his top form and Brasil could lose.  Of course everyone wants to blame the arch-rival Argentinians, but Silva suspects several other possibilities. This one is particularly much better than earlier ones because Gage has learned how to tell us about heinous crimes without pages and pages of blood and gore. I had almost gotten to the point where I couldn't read them, and even last year sent the author an email to that effect. Evidently he got the message from a broad spectrum of readers.  Here he gives us a much more developed cast of characters (both the good guys and the bad), an interesting look into the world of futebol and the annual Brasilian Carnival samba floats and teams, in addition to the hefty dose of up-to-date police procedures used to solve this mystery without wallowing in graphic violence. I won't give you much more - no spoilers - it's a page-turning, easy to read, gripping mystery. You don't need to read earlier ones in the series, this one can easily stand alone.

Leighton Gage also blogs on Murder is Everywhere where his latest post will be of great interest to any of you gentle readers who love books in all their wondrous formats.

Many thanks to Leighton for sending the review copy.  It's a terrific book and a series with potential for even more adventures.  We can't wait for the next one.

1 comment:

  1. sounds right up my alley...and a standalone too!


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