Wednesday, November 10, 2010

EVERY BITTER THING: LEIGHTON GAGE



The son of Venezuela's Foreign Minister is found in his apartment in Brasilia shot in the stomach, and then battered to death. With such a high profile victim the Federal cops lead by Chief Inspector Mario Silva are immediately brought in to investigate.
Silva, along with his team, his nephew Hector Costa, the veteran Arnaldo Nunes, and Haraldo 'Babyface' Goncalves, discover there have been several murders with exactly the same MO.
They are puzzled when they find out that the victims were passengers in business class on the same TAB flight 8101 from Miami to Sao Paulo.
The English country house party mystery brought up to date? But with a very Brazilian ending.

Leighton Gage uses Silva's investigation into the lives and motives of the passengers to give us a superb portrait of some facets of life in Brazil. It may not be flattering to this fascinating country, but it gives the reader an exciting tense thriller with lots of dead ends, and red herrings, as Silva's investigators close in on the perpetrator. To lighten the mood there is plenty of light hearted humour and backchat in the dialogue between the cops, but that does not delay the rapid pace of the plot.
A police procedural would not seem authentic without an objectionable boss, and in the sycophantic Sampaio this series has one of the most toadyish around.
With all the interesting detail, and the exotically dangerous location this is becoming one of my must read series.

Leighton Gage's books, despite all the information about Brazil and the switching between different perspectives of the investigators, are very easy reading with a smooth flowing style. Therefore I was able to read the 281 ages of Every Bitter Thing in two sessions, with the only downside that I am now waiting eagerly for book number five in the series.
Thanks to the author and publishers, Soho Crime, for my ARC.


Read my reviews of the rest of the Mario Silva series:


8 Comments:

Blogger Margot Kinberg said...

Norman - Excellent review! Thanks for sharing. Gage is a fine author, and I'm very glad that you liked this one. I especially like his look at Brasil since I lived there for a short time years ago; some parts of his stories bring back quite good memories.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Wow! You sold me all right. I want to run out and get this book now.

I've been wanting to read one of Gage's books, first, to finish my South American requirement of my informal global book challenge.

But the more I read about his writing, the more I want to read it on its own merit.

I haven't read the first few. Can I start here?

7:41 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kathy I think you can start with EBT as little knowledge of the back story of Silva and Costa is necessary. They have suffered severely from Brazil's rampant crime wave and have little sympathy for the violent career criminal.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Can you tell me which book really deals with the social and political issues in Brazil?

I enjoyed "Thursday Night Widows," as it brought up economic and social issues.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kathy, they all deal with these problems to a large extent. Blood of the Wicked, the first book, would be the best place to start, by the time you reach book four you will have cancelled your holiday in Rio, Manaus and Sao Paulo. ;o)

1:09 AM  
Blogger Maxine said...

Great review, as usual, Norman.
I don;t think it is a free Kindle download, though. The author very kindly offered to send it to me, but though I sent him my kindle details what I got was an attached file to an email - I have no idea how to get that into my kindle! However, you can download the book from Amazon direct for £2.90 which is pretty cheap.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Leighton Gage said...

Norman,
Thank you for choosing to review EVERY BITTER THING.

Margot,
I appreciate your kind comments.

Kathy D.,
In a sense, all of my books address social issues. "Blood of the Wicked", the first in the series, deals with the conflict engendered by land reform and the political and social implications of liberation theology as practiced in Brazil.
Sound boring?
It isn't.
You might want to start with that one and, if you've got an e-reader, I'll be happy to send you a free copy of it, Epub or Kindle, your choice.
And then, of course (this is my nefarious plan) you'll be hooked.
But please don't read "Dying Gasp" before you read "Buried Strangers" as there is a particularly evil character who first appears in "Strangers" who is back again in "Gasp".

Maxine,
Copy and paste the following URL into your browser. It will bring you to a page where you can get instructions for getting an e-mailed file from your desktop, (or another downloaded location) into your Kindle:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5759593_upload-files-kindle.html

It's really very easy.

Cheers All,

6:10 PM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

How nice that Leighton Gage dropped in and answered our points and my question.

I will start with the first book then. Liberation theology does not sound boring to me, a political being.

I have a feeling I will be hooked quickly.

I do not have an ereader, and being a Luddite who loves real books all over my residence and in my hands, don't think I'll ever get one. (Books are sacred--that and chocolate; those are my objects of adoration).

But thanks for offering.

11:08 PM  

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