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Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage

Blood of the Wicked

by Leighton Gage

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Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage is the first book in the series featuring Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Federal Police of Brazil. This is a book that reached out and totally grabbed me. A murder mystery wrapped in a layered, well written novel that shines a light on the plight of the poor and landless against the rich and landed. Involving priests, corrupt officials, political activists and journalists this was a roller coaster ride that informed as well as thrilled.

When a Catholic Bishop arrives to dedicate a new church in the city of Cascatas and is immediately murdered, Chief Inspector Mario Silva is sent to investigate. Silva and his team arrive at a time of political unrest in the area as first a local agitator and his family are horribly murdered, than in apparent retaliation, a wealthy landowners son goes missing. Meanwhile a group of poor farmers have taken over a portion of an estate and are trying to draw attention to the conditions they are having to live in. Trying to figure out if all these cases are connected has Silva desperately trying to fit the pieces together.

In Blood of the Wicked there are more than enough bad guys, but there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest and I haven’t felt such hatred for a villain in a long time. I truly wanted this guy to not only be exposed but for him to come to a bad end as well. The story contains torture, rape, corruption, murder and violence and as such, would not be suitable for everyone. This is a tale of retribution, revenge and ultimately justice and, as a first book in a series, Blood of the Wicked had me riveted and now wanting to see what comes next after such an emotionally charged debut. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Oct 12, 2014 |
This is most definitely a crime novel and not a mystery. Parts were riveting, but most of it wasn't. I didn't feel cheated out of my time reading this, but I won't be reading any of the rest of the series. ( )
  lesmel | May 19, 2013 |
We're used to crime novels involving police corruption in big-city America, Russia, and the UK. The setting of Blood of the Wicked is Brazil. I imagine that most of us who've never been know the iconic images of Brazil - the beaches, Sugar Loaf, Christ of the Andes, carnival. Not in this novel of powerful landowners, powerless peasants, corrupt state police, liberation theologists, disposable street kids, ambitious media stars, the frail and the wicked. And, yes, honest federal cops, one with his own dark secrets.

The sights, smells, oppressive heat, the fear, the class distinctions, are vivid in this truly enjoyable, very suspenseful novel. I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to people who like smart police procedurals in locales more exotic than, oh, Minneapolis. ( )
  fromkin | Sep 29, 2011 |
incongruent, confusing, gore, poor plot, story and character development ( )
  tribex | Jan 14, 2011 |
BLOOD OF THE WICKED opens with the assassination of a Catholic bishop. Moments after he steps off a helicopter in Cascatas to dedicate a church, Bishop Antunes is killed by a sniper’s shot. His death immediately pits the Landless Workers’ League, the poor, against the land owners, the very rich, who want to it believed that the murder was a plot by the League.

The church in Brazil is divided into those who follow the rules set by the Vatican and those who are still in sympathy with the principles of liberation theology. Gage makes reference to the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was shot while offering Mass in San Salvador. Romero was becoming increasingly supportive of the liberation theology movement, which interprets the teachings of Christ as calling for liberation from economic, political, and social conditions that deprive the poor of basic necessities and human decency. The military in San Salvador took responsibility for the death of Romero but which side, the landless workers or the land owners, had the most to gain by the clergyman’s death. Bishop Antunes, murdered before he stepped into the church building, was an unknown quantity. Did he support the Landless Workers’ League in violation of the directives from Rome or did he support the land owners who controlled the government?

Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters for the federal police of Brazil, is called upon to bring the matter of the bishop’s murder to a quick and successful close. To the politicians who try to influence Silva, that means finding the killer among the landless workers. But, once in Cascatas, Silva’s case expands to include drug peddling, the emergence of a serial killer, the deaths of those who try to learn the truth, and a population in terror of its police.

There is a great deal of blood in this story and there is a seemingly endless parade of the wicked. There are few heroes either, including Silva, a man with a strong moral code but a code, nonetheless, that recognizes the corrupt and ineffectual justice system in his country. He is a man who has also been motivated by vengeance. There are heroes in unexpected places but even the heroes are bathed in the blood of the wicked.

Leighton Gage has written a story that demands that once started, must be finished without interruption. As flawed as Mario is, he is the image of right against might. When it seems that all the depravity has been revealed, there is still more. The church harbors saints and sinners and sometimes they are the same people. Those sworn to serve and protect the people are the worst perpetrators of violence against the innocent. Gage does what seems impossible and brings the story to an end that is real and just when there isn’t any hope for justice. ( )
  macabr | Aug 26, 2010 |
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"In the remote Brazilian town of Cascatas do Pontal, where landless peasants are confronting the owners of vast estates, the bishop arrives by helicopter to consecrate a new church and is assassinated." "Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil, is dispatched to the interior to find the killer. The Pope himself has telephoned Brazil's president; the pressure is on Silva to perform, and fast." "Assisted by his nephew, Hector Costa, also a federal policeman, Silva must battle the state police and a corrupt judiciary as well as criminals who prey on street kids, warring factions of the Landless League, and their enemies, the big landowners, as well as the Church itself in order to solve the initial murder and several brutal killings that follow." "Justice is hard to come by. An old priest, a secret liberation theologist, is its instrument. Here is a Brazil the tourist never sees."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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