1 March 2011

Review: DYING GASP, Leighton Gage

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • N.B. available currently on Kindle for $2.99
  • published 2010. ISBN 978-1-56947-613-0
  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Soho Crime; 1 edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LGTM5S
  • Source:  I'm not actually sure - I think I bought it
  • tags: Brazil police, missing persons, snuff films, child prostitution

In The Netherlands, a bomb explodes on a tram.
Eight thousand kilometers away, in Brazil, the granddaughter of a powerful politician is kidnapped.
In this, the third book in Leighton Gage’s compelling series, the author weaves the two incidents together - and transports his readers to an Amazonian hell hole where Chief Inspector Mario Silva reencounters an old enemy.

My take:

Now, I "knew" which order to read these books in, but I've read this one out of order. The upside of doing that is, that, although I thought perhaps I'd forgotten some details from the earlier book THE BLOOD OF THE WICKED, the novel really works quite well as a standalone.

DYING GASP does not paint a pleasant picture of  Brazil and particularly of Sao Paolo where "real power was in the hands of feudal  families, and it had been that way for four hundred years". And in the city of Manaus in the South is one where the police, the administration, and the criminals are hand in glove, deep in corruption.
Finding out what has happened to Marta Malan, a 15 year old who ran away from home, is not going to be easy. Mario Silva's boss Sampaio is under pressure from Deputado Roberto Malan to find his grand-daughter. And Malan has clout: he is the head of the Appropriations Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, and can affect the federal police budget. Normally hunting for a missing teenager would not be a job for the federal police, and she has been missing for more than two months.

Inspector Mario Silva, his nephew Hector, and  Agente Arnaldo Nunes are tough customers, federal police, not affected by local politics, but even so orders are relayed from the federal authorities to the local police to ensure utmost cooperation.

I found this a real "page turner". There are some truly horrifyingly corrupt characters, and at the same time we learn much more about Mario Silva and his family.The story keeps the reader in its grip, right to the end.

My rating: 4.7

I'm counting DYING GASP in 2011 Global Reading Challenge and e-book challenge

If you'd like to make sure you read the Mario Silva books in order, then here it is:
Read about them (and some opening extracts) on the author's website.

This note provided by the author will serve as a warning to some readers:
THIS IS A WORK of fiction based on some sad realities.
In Brazil, the prostitution of children has reached epic  proportions, and the country has become one of the world's  premier destinations for men seeking sex with minors. The  trade is often carried out with the enthusiastic support of  local law enforcement.
Visitors to cities in Brazil's north and northeast are often  surprised to find eleven- and twelve-year-olds sitting on  curbs, playing with dolls, while they wait for clients.
In January 2006, the Brazilian federal government completed   an investigation of the police department of Manaus.  It resulted in more than a hundred officers being expelled  from the force and charged with crimes ranging from theft  and extortion to kidnapping and murder.
In Belem, up until recently, seventy-seven of the one hundred   and fourteen houses of prostitution were offering children   from eleven to seventeen years of age. Five houses  specialized in children exclusively.
At the same time, in Arapina, the "services" of girls as young  as eight could be bought for ten Reais, about five American  dollars.
Recent estimates suggest that at least a half million Brazilian  girls under the age of eighteen are currently working as prostitutes.

Leighton Gage blogs at MURDER IS EVERYWHERE along with Jeff Siger, Tim Hallinan, Dan Waddell, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Michael Stanley, and Cara Black.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this. I am always sad when I think of what Brazil is and could have been, having stayed there briefly. When I was there I met some wonderful people and the country itself is magnificent. But...

Maxine Clarke said...

A fine review. I would find it very difficult indeed to read this book, or any on this topic. It sounds so awful, not least because Brazil is by no means the only place where this is rife.

kathy d. said...

This is so sad and depressing, and could keep me from reading this book.

It's so hard to think about trafficking of women and children.

It's an outgrowth of extreme poverty and lack of sufficient social programs and resources for families, and I so wish it did not exist.

Their lives must be so awful, and those who use and abuse children in this way--what can I say? There aren't enough words of outrage to express it.


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