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Blood of the Wicked

(Chief Inspector Mario Silva #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  712 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Blood of the Wicked manages to pack a huge amount into a spare three hundred pages; power politics, petty violence, sexual scandal, saintly courage, staggering poverty and obscene wealth. A book that makes you care about its large cast of characters, even when you know that they are going to die—frequently horribly. This is a novel as rich and complex as Brazil itself, wi ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Soho Crime
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  712 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Robert Intriago
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-noir
On December 12, 2010, I read a review in the crime section on the New York Times Book section about Leighton Gage's new book "Every Bitter Thing" The reviewer gave it a thumbs up. I decided to read Gage's first book and did not expect very much. To my surprise an almost noir book, I will explain my "almost noir" later, with an intelligent narrative about social conditions in Brazil.

The story has torture, corruption, murder, male prostitution, rape and various other crimes. The story revolves aro
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in mysteries set in unusual locales
Shelves: fiction, mystery, suspense
The corruption Leighton Gage portrays is visceral, a malignancy infecting every level of Brazilian society. At the local level, police chief Col. Ferrez heads a mafia-like criminal enterprise. He has built on a past that included unspeakable acts of torture on political prisoners dating back to 1976 when the military dictatorship came into power. Orlando Muniz is a prominent landowner and industrialist. Like others of his class he practices de facto slavery to keep impoverished peasants tied to ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Vicki Seldon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Floor Flawless (Tussen De Boeken)
Dit boek viel me helaas tegen. In de eerste helft word je veel informatie toegeworpen die enige verwarring brengt. Ik had soms niet eens goed door wat het heden en wat het verleden was. Ook het taalgebruik was soms lastig te volgen. Mijn woordenschat is breed, maar toch zaten er woorden in die ik niet begreep. Dan nog maar te zwijgen over sommige Braziliaanse uitspraken waar ik al helemaal niks wijzer van werd. Gelukkig werd het in de tweede helft wel wat beter en het boek is overall wel oké, ma ...more
Leighton Gage
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone, but then I wrote it.
Praise for Blood Of The Wicked

“…top notch… Gage smoothly expands his focus on the assassination of an ambitious bishop to encompass the controversial and entirely absorbing issue of whether the clergy should involve themselves in the politics of land distribution among the poor.”
New York Times

“Leighton Gage achieves both a powerful political thriller and gripping crime fiction in his fascinating debut…Gage proves himself a true storyteller.”
Florida Sun Sentinel

“a gripping and brutal tale of mu
Blood of the Wicked is an interesting read set in the context of Brazil's challenges regarding land reform, crime and poverty. The complex plot underlines the integration of these elements in Brazilian society and it contains a cast of characters that reflect those realities. A solid debut that introduces a series worth investigating.
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Mario Silva
SERIES: 1 of 1

It has been said that "reading is an adventure", and one of my favorite reading adventures is to spend time in a place that I haven't visited before. BLOOD OF THE WICKED is set in Brazil; any preconceptions that I had about partying and dancing in the streets most of the time were certainly quashed. Based on this book, I won't be packing my bags to go there any time soon for a visit.

When Bishop Dom Felipe is murdered at th
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
BLOOD OF THE WICKED. (2008). Leighton Gage. ****.
This was the debut novel for this author, and was very well done. As with most first novels, there were a few loose ends that had to be tied together at the end, but on the whole the plot moved along nicely. Set in Brazil, the novel revolves around the class struggle between the landed wealthy population and the landless workers on the land. It seems that land itself is the major marker for wealth in Brazil, and those that own it will go to any en
Rob Kitchin
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Blood of the Wicked is a crime novel meets social commentary, examining the nature of policing, justice, access to land and a livelihoods, street kids, liberation theology, and massive inequalities in wealth and power in Brazil. It would have been easy for Gage to drift into writing little more than a sermon on corruption and the injustices suffered by the peasant class in country, but he manages to keep the story of the investigation centre stage, with the social commentary drifting out through ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book spares no punches. It was my first introduction to Chief Inspector Mario Silva and to Mr. Gage's critically acclaimed series. Inspector Silva lives and works in Brazil. He is the man in charge of the Criminal Matters division in the Brazil Federal Police. He is directed to a small, remote village by the name of Cascatas do Pontal in order to investigate the assignation of a Bishop. Silva is assissted by his nephew and fellow federal policeman Hector Costa, and his preferred back up - A ...more
Maui Island
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
First an important note. This book is extremely violent and many of the descriptions of violence are abhorrent. It is very difficult to take, and certainly for many (most), an insurmountable obstacle. But despite of this, or because of it, the story is a very convincing portrayal of the misery, squalor and hopelessness of the plight of the majority of the inhabitants of Brazil. Federal police inspector Silva encounters and deals with (more or less) a venal landowner thug, this thug's vicious son ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Wow, what a book! Mr Gage, you've got a new fan :)

This book is my FIRST in several aspects: my very first book about Chief Inspector Mario Silva, my first crime fiction set in Brazil, my first of Leighton Gage's crime series, and I am already addicted!

I have a three novel collection in my possession so I will be delving into the next in the series as soon as I have a spare moment.

A full review will be coming when I finish the other two, and there is absolutely no doubt that I shall be reading
J. Ewbank
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book by Leighton Gage is a powerful book. The characters are well drawn out. The plot is dynamic amd interesting. It takes place in Brazil and it takes a little while to get used to the characters and their roles, but it quickly makes up for any problems of location. It is a mystery or cop story but it is a real thriller. I really enjoyed this one.
J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I Want more.....
Marie-Jo Fortis
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am no fan of violence —no gratuitous violence that is; and this is an R-rated novel with nearly unbearable scenes. But there is nothing gratuitous about it. Gage knows how far he can go and where to stop. That’s the mark of an author who knows his craft; how to make it a tool as efficient as possible to send a message without being didactic. Here, the blades are sharpened to the max.
We are in Brazil, but certainly not at the Carnaval do Rio, for levity has no place here. In this thriller wit
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing

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
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am partial to police procedurals. Blood of the Wicked (2008) by Leighton Gage is a great example of that genre. It is a police procedural with a difference because it is set in Brazil and the police authorities are structured differently in Brazil than here in the US, or so it seems to me. There is a Federal group (Brazilian Federal Police) and State Police. It made for a complex interaction between the protagonist, Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the federal branch, and the Colonel in charge o ...more
Knit Spirit
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Les romans avec un fond historique font partie de ceux que j’affectionne tout particulièrement car j’ai l’impression d’apprendre des choses sans me prendre la tête. C’est pourquoi ce thriller sur fond de problématique des paysans sans terre au Brésil m’a bien plu.
J’ai trouvé les personnages parfois trop manichéens dans l’ensemble (les gentils vraiment gentils et les méchants sacrément méchants à tel point que t’as bien envie de leur coller toi-même la balle dans la tête) même si un ou deux dérog
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage is the first book in the Chief Inspector Mario Silva mystery series set in Brazil. Silva is the Chief Inspector for Criminal Affairs for the Brazilian Federal Police. He is sent to a northern state to investigate the murder of a Bishop. He brings along his nephew, Hector Costa, a federal investigator and Investigator Arnaldo.
The trio must deal with a corrupt, vicious state police commander and lawless land owners as they investigates the murder.
This is a gri
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
A trip to a very violent town in rural Brazil. From early on, the reader knows who the bad guys are, and the detective does too. The story then is about how to bring the bad guys to some sort of justice. Along the way, we get scenes of torture and murder, and a few lessons in Brazil's land reform politics. The writing is well paced, and the ending satisfies.

The characters don't really stand out here. Protagonist Mario Silva has a backstory sort of like a superhero. He ends up in the federal poli
Shonna Froebel
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This mystery novel set in Brazil features Chief Inspector Mario Silva, and is the first in the series. We get introduced to Mario's past, seeing how he began with the police, the horrible event that drove him to it, and learn about his sense of justice. That was back in 1978. It is now the 21st century and Mario is now Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil. When the bishop is killed very publicly as he arrives in the remote town of Cascatas do Pontal to consecrate ...more
Kathryn Nelligan

This book has mood and character development. Well done. What a loss to readers that he is gone. I would not have known of him if not for an Amazon recommendation
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Uncomfortable truths are more easily published when in the form of "detective" or "crime" labels, or even "sci fi". Are the many topics (high level systemic corruption - church and state, brutal land wars etc) Gage has crammed into this book exaggerated for prurient blood lust sake and drive up the sales ? Wish it were so. If you don't know the socio-economic and political history of South America since say the 70s forward, you might think that. But it's so terribly "true". I was impressed that ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
I read these books out of order: this is the first one Leighton Gage wrote, followed by Buried Strangers. This story filled in some of the background of the characters that I met in the second book. I think Mr. Gage hit his stride in the second book--this first one was filled with a few graphic scenes that didn't sit well with me, and detracted from the overall plot, which I thought was otherwise fantastic. Mr. Gage's books aren't just mass produced paperback mysteries, but are almost like comme ...more
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it
In Leighton Gage's Brazilian mystery debut, Blood of the Wicked, we were introduced to Mario Silva, the lead detective of the police force. Homeless peasants confronted the owners of their vast estates painted the scene in Cascatas do Pontal, Brazil. A bishop was flown in by helicopter to consecrate a new church and then was assassinated in cold blood. The pope called the Brazilian president, when Silva was dispatched to investigate the grisly scene with his nephew, Hector Costa, who was also a ...more
Jay Fromkin
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 hi ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Finally, a good book!!!! I picked this one up based on a recommendation from a local mystery bookstore and I was so glad I read it. Set in modern day Brazil, this mystery starts with the murder of a high ranking bishop and dives into landownership issues in Brazil. This topic may not sound like the most fascinating, but the idea of crooked cops, vengeful priests and two detectives (uncle and nephew) each who had a father who was murdered was an entertaining read. Gage's writing style is a little ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Blood of the Wicked (2007) introduces Mario Silva, chief inspector for criminal matters of the federal police of Brazil, dispatched to a remote town in the interior to investigate the shooting of a bishop. Silva and his assistants find themselves in the middle of a confrontation between the landless peasants and the powerful owners of vast estates. The corrupt local state police force is more frightening than the criminals and the local judge has no interest in justice. Pressured by his boss to ...more
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mystery novel set in current day Brazil. The story takes Chief Inspector Mario Silva (city of Sao Paolo) to investigate the death of Dom Felipe Antunes, a Catholic bishop, in Cascatas do Pontal (state of Sao Paolo). An inspector who has had the misfortune of having several violent run-ins with criminals in his family.

The book delves into the extreme divide between the have and have not. The landowners who bribe politicians and judges to avoid loosing unused land to the laborers. The have not who
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, bookcrossing
An amazingly mature and beautiful debut novel. You'll get a taste and scents of Brazil, of the parts the tourists never see, while meeting chief inspector Silva and his nephew.
It has all the ingredients I love in a crime book: interesting and somehow exotic yet familiar location you get to feel and know, robust characters who set the pace for the story, enough action, lots of detail, and a perfect pace. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series as soon as I get a chance. Interesting, no
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Died July 27th, 2013

Leighton Gage writes the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil. He and his Brazilian-born wife divide their time between their home in Brazil and those of their children and grandchildren in Europe and the U.S.
Praise for the Chief Inspector:

Hard-hitting, atmospheric…. Despite their social conscience and ambitious reach, there's nothing stiff or programm

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Mario Silva (7 books)
  • Buried Strangers (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #2)
  • Dying Gasp (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #3)
  • Every Bitter Thing (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #4)
  • A Vine in the Blood (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #5)
  • Perfect Hatred (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #6)
  • The Ways of Evil Men (Chief Inspector Mario Silva #7)