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.
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: