Every Bitter Thing
853 Broadway, NY, NY 10003
9781569478455, $25.00, www.sohopress.com
On the opening page of Leighton Gage's newest book, the fourth in his series featuring the Brazilian Chief Inspector Mario Silva, the reader is introduced to Jonas Palhares, a petroleum engineer who is very soon after brutally murdered in his Ipanema apartment. This is but one of several murders committed in the same manner, and with the same weapons. A famous social psychologist is soon found dead in Sao Paulo State. But when the next victim is the son of the Venezuelan foreign minister and former ambassador to Brazil, the political implications become quickly obvious, and the investigation goes into high gear.
Silva, chief inspector for criminal matters with the Federal Police, is described as "a repository of totally useless information," but self-described as possessing "occasionally amazing instances of insight. He teams up with the head of the Brasilia civil police, as well as his usual team members, including Arnaldo Nunes and Haraldo "Babyface" Goncalves, known as the Federal Police's Lothario. The body count rises, and the cops are frustrated by the fact that there seems to be no common denominator among the victims.
The author provides another glimpse into a world and a country with which this reader and I suspect many others are unfamiliar [despite my having traveled there twice, but I'm pretty sure tourism doesn't count]. We are given examples of ". . . how things work in this country . . . how the rich and powerful get justice and the rest of us can go to hell." The investigation proceeds rapidly to try to find the killer before more bodies appear, and the ending is as logical as it is startling. A thoroughly satisfying novel, and recommended.
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson St., NY, NY 10014
9780515148688, $7.99, www.penguin.com
The fourth and apparently last novel in this well-written series finds a changed dynamic in the relationships among the various protagonists, all health care workers at the fictional Angels of Mercy Medical Center in Pittsburgh. Those changes are brought about by the events that took place in the closing pages of the prior book, "Urgent Care," culminating in the shooting of one of them, nineteen days before the start of the present book. That one was Detective Jerry Boyle, whose fiancee, Dr. Gina Freeman, now finds herself taking care of him instead of the...