Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET: G IS FOR GAGE



Slightly delayed this week because I wanted to post about my reactions to finishing the Millennium trilogy is this week's contribution to the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise.

G is for Gage. Leighton Gage.

I first met Leighton Gage, another of crime fiction's many nice guys, on line and then in person at Crime Fest 2009 in Bristol. He writes the thrilling Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation series set in Brazil, where he and his charming Brazilian born wife Eide, live most of the year.

He also has a new joint blog Murder is Everywhere with Cara Black, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip [Michael Stanley], and Dan Waddell.

Leighton does not have to worry about the anomaly that affects crime writers in Sweden and Iceland. The conundrum in which there are many more fictional murders than ever occur in real life does not have an influence on a Brazilian set crime fiction series. I think Sao Paulo's murder investigation department has over 800 police officers and is still understaffed. But Mario Silva is a Federal cop which allows him to travel all over that huge country, and that provides Leighton with plenty of scope for his plots.
One of the most important facts I learned from the Mario Silva series and from interviewing Leighton is that Brazil is not a poor country.
It is a very rich country with a lot of very very poor people living in it.



Luckily I have a advanced review copy of the third book in the series, Dying Gasp, which has a pretty sensational opening chapter. More on that next month.

Here you can read part one, part two and part three of my wide ranging interview with Leighton Gage.
The Mario Silva series has not only some memorable characters, but also the quality of writing that makes you smell tension, fear and even cigar smoke, in the air.
I should say that although the books are about violence, corruption, poverty and social divisions, they are not gratuitously violent.

The reader also learns a lot about a country that will probably be one of the powerhouses of the century. But Brazilian police methods in their search for justice in very difficult circumstances are sometimes slightly different from those adopted in the UK, USA, Canada or Australia.

Booklist said '...Silva just may be South America's Kurt Wallander.'
A more cheerful Latin Wallander, and well worth reading about.

8 Comments:

Blogger Maxine said...

Well, I am glad he is more cheerful than Wallander...he could not be less cheerful, I suppose!
Great post, Norman, I've been meaning to read L Gage since you kindly introduced me to him in Bristol and we heard him talk about his books. Mrs Gage is very lovely, too, I recall.
And thanks for the tip about the international blog - another one for my RSS reader!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks for the comment Maxine. These articles and blurbs that compare one writer with another are sometimes funny. Camilla Lackberg was Sweden's Agatha Christie on one cover I seem to remember, but I don't recall the mistress of Greenway posing in a bubble bath. ;o)

10:09 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Thanks for the contribution Norman. Yet another to add to my growing list.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Margot Kinberg said...

Norman,
Like Maxine and Kerrie, I haven't read Gage yet, but it sounds as though he's really worth a read. It's amazing how many fine authors I *don't* have a chance to try when I want to....

4:06 PM  
Blogger beth said...

I am very much looking forward to the newest Leighton Gage. The first two were excellent and I have recommended them to a number of people.

That the first chapter of DYING GASP is sensational won't be a surprise to anyone who has read the other books in the series. Leighton's books begin with such attention grabbers that it is impossible to stop reading once started.

Leighton doesn't cheat. The great beginnings lead to satisfying endings.

Beth

9:47 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kerrie I am going to try and keep the alphabet going and while it leads to repetition some of the material is from so long ago a new set of visitors may enjoy it.

Thanks Margot, Leighton's books are a very smooth read despite their content, and they make a change from Nordic angst and American crime fiction.


Thanks Beth, I still love Scandinavian and Italian crime fiction but it is nice to read an exciting series about somewhere completely different with a new set of problems.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Well, I can see that here is someone I will have to add to my list.

So you are right, Norman, older material may be really good for the alphabet meme :D

1:23 PM  

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