17 June 2011

Review: A VINE IN THE BLOOD, Leighton Gage

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 403 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WP4YT2
  • My source: complimentary copy for review from the author.
Available also: Random House

Product Description
It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe’s premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. A victory for the home team is inextricably linked to the skills of the country’s principal striker, Tico “The Artist” Santos, the greatest player in the history of the sport. All the politicians in Brasilia, from the President of the Republic on down, have their seats squared-away for the finale, when they hope to see Argentina, Brazil’s bitterest rival, humbled by the Brazilian eleven. But then, just three weeks before the first game, Juraci Santos, Tico’s mother, is kidnapped. The star is distraught. The public is appalled. The politicians are outraged. And the pressure is on Chief Inspector Mario Silva to get her back.

Suspects aren’t lacking. Among them, are a cabal of Argentineans, suspected of having spirited the lady away to put Tico off his game, the star’s gold-digging, top-model girlfriend, whom his mother dislikes and has been trying to get out of his life, his principal rival, who wants to play in the World Cup in Tico’s place, and the man whose leg Tico broke during a match, thereby destroying his career. In the end, Silva and his crew discover that the solution to the mystery is less complex - but entirely unexpected.

This book debuts in North America on December 27th, 2011.
It cannot be purchased in print, or by Kindle readers in the United States and Canada, until after that date.

This is #5 in the Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil.

My take:

I thoroughly enjoyed  A VINE IN THE BLOOD. In the author's own words, "This one is less gory. I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything if I tell you that there are only two murders in the whole book, and they both occur “off-screen” in the very beginning."

If you are new to the work of Leighton Gage, it is also a title you can read out of sequence. There is not a lot in the book that is dependent on having read earlier titles.

The author has a slightly quirky sense of humour which emerges sometimes in his character descriptions and notably in A VINE IN THE BLOOD in the method chosen in the delivery of the $5 million ransom for the soccer player's mother. In a world where conversation is dominated by the impending World Cup and the Brazil vs Argentina clash, the Brazilians, Silva's boss included, are convinced that no patriotic country man would damage Brazil's chances by kidnapping "The Artist" Tico's mother. Therefore the whole plot must be an Argentinian ruse.

There are some serious social comments and glimpses of the state of things in Brazil too: where else does organised crime dominate politics to the extent that a judge might be forced to take refuge in his own courthouse, or an enormously popular illegal lottery has been a feature of the country for over a century?

I also enjoyed the further development of the main characters: Inspector Mario Silva, his nephew Hector Costa, and the other members of his team.

My rating: 4.5

Attention Australian readers: the author has made his titles available on Amazon, mostly for under $6.
If you are in the UK, check this link.

Other reviews of Gage titles on this blog:

Visit Leighton on the web at http://www.leightongage.com

Read another review on Murder by Type


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review :-). I'm not quite that far into the series yet, so I am very much looking forward to this one. You've whetted my appetite.

jiescribano said...

Thank you Kerrie for your inputs. Glad to hear that it works as a standalone, with no need to read the previous books. This doesn't mean that I will skip them all but I can read out of sequence.

Maria said...

They need to start releasing ALL books on the same date for ALL countries. Yeesh, people! Get with the times!

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