7 October 2013

Review: EVERY BITTER THING, Leighton Gage

  • published in 2010 by Soho Press
  • #4 in the Inspector Mario Silva series set in Brazil
  • 281 pages
  • ISBN 978-1-56947-845-6
  • library book
  • read an excerpt (author site)
Synopsis (Amazon)

The son of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister is murdered at his apartment in Brasilia. It appears, at first, to be an isolated crime of passion -- but then killings with exactly the same MO begin cropping up all over the country. Who’s doing it? And why?

My take

I've chosen the Amazon synopsis this time because I feel that some others, including the one at the publisher Soho Press tell the reader too much and therefore reduce the elements of mystery in the plot, and also the reader's chance of working some things out for themselves.

EVERY BITTER THING is essentially a police procedural, with members of local and Federal police in Brazil working with overseas contacts to establish connections between various deaths occurring with the same MO. There is a brilliant red herring, which of course I won't tell you anything about, that will prompt most readers to come initially to the wrong conclusion.

I didn't think the novel was far off the standard that Leighton usually achieved. (see the About the author note below) and it certainly expands our knowledge of how Inspector Mario Silva's team functions. I think there was less of the social assessment of Brazil's economy and politics than we find in other novels in the series, but it is nevertheless there.

Leighton Gage is a writer we will miss.

My rating: 4.5

I have also reviewed
BLOOD OF THE WICKED publ. 2007 - #1
4.7, DYING GASP publ. 2009 - #3
4.5, A VINE IN THE BLOOD publ. 2010 - #5
4.7, PERFECT HATRED publ 2013 - #6

The Mario Silva series (listed on Fantastic Fiction)
1. Blood of the Wicked (2007)
2. Buried Strangers (2009)
3. Dying Gasp (2009)
4. Every Bitter Thing (2010)
5. A Vine in the Blood (2011)
6. Perfect Hatred (2013)
7. The Ways of Evil Men (2014) - to be published post-mortem

About the author 1942-2013

Leighton Gage, a former advertising man from New Jersey who found a second career writing crime novels about a Brazilian police detective, died on July 26 2013 at his home in Ocala, Fla. He was 71. 

My personal contact with Leighton came when he contacted me about making his books available through Kindle to Australian readers. He alerted me when he had personally make copies available at very low cost on Kindle, as well a the occasional free review copy.

Read his obituary on Mystery Fanfare
New York Times obituary
Tribute by his publishers, Soho Press
Tribute on Reactions to Reading 

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

We will indeed miss him, Kerrie. You've reminded me that I must re-read some of his work...

Irene said...

I've never read anything of a mystery in Brazil. Thanks for the introduction.

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