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The Ways of Evil Men (Mario Silva) by…
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The Ways of Evil Men (Mario Silva)

by Leighton Gage

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I won this print through a contest site and agreed to give it an honest review. Leighton Gage was an unknown author to me and I'm glad I won his book! Strange things are going on in the remote Amazon jungle of Brazil. There are only 41 Anwa tribe left, they can't seem to grow in numbers, but as a man and his son return to the village, their tribe is all dead, but it's only the beginning of the darkest crime of the evils of man.......... ( )
  Linda.Bass | May 8, 2016 |
Leighton Gage’s new book “The Ways of Evil Men” is the seventh in his series starring Detective Inspector Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police. This time Silva is called upon to investigate genocide in the northern state of Para, which is the modern South American version of the Old Wild West.
In Para huge ranches have been carved out of the Amazon jungle, and the landowners will do anything to get their way. In the town of Azevedo, a half-dozen such men have set their covetous eyes on a natural refuge that is home to the Awana tribe, which has dwindled to 41 members. When two tribe members, a father and his son, return from a hunt, they find the rest of the tribe dead. Jade Calmon, the government official assigned to watch over the refuge and the Awana tribe, is outraged by the genocide, but finds the townspeople and the state police officials unwilling to investigate.
With the help of family and friends, she succeeds in bringing the case to the Federal Police, who assign Silva and his team to the case. But while they’re still making their way to Azevedo, one of the landowners is killed and the adult tribesman is implicated in the murder.
As Silva digs into the evidence in both crimes, he finds the case growing more complex. Complicating matters is the presence of a journalist, Maura Mandel, who’s a friend of Jade’s. Along with that, the townspeople have decided to stonewall the investigation by laying the blame for the genocide on the dead landowner. But they do not know what a relentless investigator Silva is, motivated by his innate sense of justice.
Gage succeeds in bringing the Amazon to life within the book’s pages. The deaths of the indigenous tribes and the loss of the jungle to rapacious greed is an on-going problem for Brazil, one that the government has tried to resolve with only limited success. Gage’s book shines a brilliant light on “The Ways of Evil Men.”

Reviewed by David Ingram for Suspense Magazine ( )
  David_Ingram | Mar 12, 2014 |
This final book in the series brings Mario Silva and his team to a wretched town in the Amazon where a few wealthy landowners want the land a small indigenous tribe occupies - so somebody poisons them all except for a small boy and his father. If it sounds too grim - well, it's a serious look at a very real issue, but it's not at all unrelentingly dark. Odd to say that a book about genocide can be entertaining, but it is, without trivializing the issue. I've learned a lot about a varied and fascinating country through this fine series. Leighton Gage will be missed.
  bfister | Feb 8, 2014 |
Reading The Ways of Evil Men was bittersweet. I have been a tremendous fan of the Chief Inspector Mario Silva books since the very first one, Blood of the Wicked. But with author Leighton Gage's death due to pancreatic cancer in 2013, it was tough knowing that this is the last book in a truly remarkable series. Each book is a seamless blend of police procedural, character study, and social commentary. I can think of no other series in crime fiction that gives such a heartfelt and unflinching portrait of a country than Gage's.

" The State of Pará was Brazil's modern-day equivalent of the old American Wild West. Life was cheap; violence, rife; ignorance and poverty, endemic."

By setting his book in a place that is identifiable to anyone remotely familiar with the American Wild West, Gage lets us know that the past isn't always past. Horrible things are still happening around the world in a daily basis, and in an area where travel is difficult and distances vast, it is a simple matter for those in charge to do whatever they like. City people aren't going to care what's happening almost a thousand miles away in a place no one's heard of. What difference does it make that a tribe has been almost completely wiped out? There were only 41 of them anyway.

The characters Leighton Gage created are the type of city people to whom such atrocities matter. All it takes is one person who refuses to accept the status quo, and in The Ways of Evil Men, that one is tribal agent Jade Calmon. She knows her limitations, but she will not quit, and it's her lucky day when Silva is assigned to the case.

Silva is another person whose moral code will not let him rest, and he's assembled a team cut from the same cloth. In many ways, he's the Marshall Matt Dillon or Sheriff Walt Longmire of Brazil. If he sees something wrong, he's going to fix it. If he has to work around corrupt or lazy officials above him in the food chain, that's exactly what he'll do, and he does it with grace, style, and a dash of humor.

Silva is the man you want on your side, and as I followed him through this investigation-- as I've followed him through six previous books-- it reminded me of how fortunate the world is that people like Calmon and Silva really do exist, and that writers like Leighton Gage tell us about them. Certain events in The Ways of Evil Men show us new, exciting directions in which the author was planning to take the series, and they will forever remain speculation amongst his fans. Some of the color went out of the world when Leighton Gage died, but his literary legacy is pure gold. I can't recommend his books highly enough. ( )
  cathyskye | Jan 26, 2014 |
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"As Chief Inspector Mario Silva has learned, justice is hard to come by in Brazil, so when his niece tells him about a possible genocide deep in the jungle, he agrees to round up his team and charter a plane to Para to check it out. Thirty-nine natives have recently dropped dead of mysterious causes. Given the tense relationship between the Awana tribe and the white townsfolk nearby, Jade Calmon, Para's sole government-sponsored advocate for the native population, immediately suspects foul play and takes the two remaining Awana--a father and his eight-year-old son--into her custody. But when the father is discovered holding a bloody machete next to the body of a village big-shot just before Silva's arrival, the plot thickens. Why would a peaceful man who doesn't believe in alcohol turn into a drunken killer?"--… (more)

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