Blood of the Wicked
, 2008 - Fiction
- 324 pages
"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, with villains who make you want to spit, and heroes whose goodness is heartbreaking."--Rebecca Pawel, Edgar Award-winning author of Death of a Nationalist
In the remote Brazilian town of Cascatas do Pontal, where landless peasants are confronting the owners of vast estates, the bishop arrives by helicopter to consecrate a new church and is assassinated.
Mario Silva, chief inspector for criminal matters of the federal police of Brazil, is dispatched to the interior to find the killer. The pope himself has called Brazil's president; the pressure is on Silva to perform. Assisted by his nephew, Hector Costa, also a federal policeman, Silva must battle the state police and a corrupt judiciary as well as criminals who prey on street kids, the warring factions of the Landless League, the big landowners, and the church itself, in order to solve the initial murder and several brutal killings that follow. Justice is hard to come by. An old priest, a secret liberation theologist, finally metes it out. Here is a Brazil that tourists never encounter.
Leighton Gage is married to a Brazilian woman and spends part of each year in Santana do Parnaiba, Brazil, and the rest of the year in Florida and Belgium. This is his first novel.