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Every Bitter Thing: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation Set in Brazil Hardcover – December 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's the victim, not the crime, that concerns the authorities in Gage's gripping fourth mystery to feature quick-witted Chief Insp. Mario Silva of Brazil's Federal Police (after January 2010's Dying Gasp). When Juan Rivas is found shot and beaten to death in his apartment in Brasília, it's "a major political incident" because Juan was the 32-year-old son of the Venezuelan foreign minister. Silva, who's struck by the crime's violence, checks the countrywide database and finds four similar unsolved murders and only a tenuous connection among the victims, who include a petroleum engineer and a social psychologist known for his best-selling books on sex. Aided by his longtime sidekick, Arnaldo Nunes, and the other members of his diverse team, Silva winnows a list of suspects who may also be potential victims. In the end, Gage's policemen are willing to go to extremes, even illegal ones, to achieve justice. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

The murder in Brasilia of the son of Venezuela’s foreign minister sends shock waves through the Brazilian government, and Chief Inspector Mario Silva, of Brazil’s federal police, is assigned to investigate. The unusual manner of death, a single gunshot to the abdomen, followed by a spectacularly brutal bludgeoning, is Silva’s primary clue, and he soon discovers similar murders in distant Brazilian cities. Links between the victims, whose numbers are growing, seem nonexistent until Silva learns that they all recently returned from Miami on the same flight. Fans of the crafty and phlegmatic chief inspector will enjoy this fourth Silva procedural. Gage is a smooth storyteller with a talent for giving his cops cynical and often funny dialogue; for example, Silva’s longtime sidekick describes the nation’s hewn-from-the-wilderness capital as “kind of like Oz, with politicians.” The pace never falters either, despite Gage taking time to argue for the need of the death penalty in a very violent country and to explain how Brazil’s vast size, its laws, and its government affect police work. --Thomas Gaughan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569478457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569478455
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,166,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leighton Gage writes the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil. His work has been praised by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Toronto Globe and Mail, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus and a variety of other publications as well as by numerous online reviewers, including the prestigious New York Journal of Books. You can visit him on the web at http://www.leightongage.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro: Jonas Palhares, an engineer, is murdered.
Brodowski, Sao Paulo State: Paulo Cruz, a famous writer, is murdered.
Brasilia: Juan Rivas, playboy son of the Venezuelan foreign minister, is murdered.

The third murder, with its political implications, brings in Chief Inspector Mario Silva, instructed by his superior to solve the case as soon as possible. Silva arrives at the crime scene, where Delegado Pereira of the civil police homicide division, believes he knows who killed Rivas.

According to Pereira, Rivas was gay and his lover, an older man living one floor down, is the obvious suspect. Motivc: sexual jealousy. Evidence: a packet of love letters. Case closed.

The murder is unusual - a shot just above the groin, followed by a savage beating with a blunt instrument. Neither weapon can be found. Silva has good instincts and patience. He persuades Pereira to hold off on accusation and arrest until Silva can check the database for similar murders.

The database turns up four others and the killer strikes again, and again. To Silva, the murders are "too random to be random." The gunshots, he reasons, are meant to fatally wound, while the beatings indicate a killer consumed by rage.

Why? What do the victims have in common? Did they deserve such a death? What circumstance or twist of fate could turn someone into such a savage killer? Silva and his team methodically begin digging through backgrounds, interviewing relatives and acquaintances of the victims, with stunning results.

A police procedural set in exotic places, EVERY BITTER THING kept me turning pages all night. I just couldn't put it down.
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Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police is back, this time handling a political hot potato. The son of the Venezuelan foreign minister has been killed, and Silva's boss always gives priority to cases involving powerful people.

At first it looks like the act of a jealous gay lover, but Silva and his team delve into the data base and find several other murders with exactly the same signature. The next challenge is to find a connection among these victims, who live in different cities and have absolutely nothing in common.

The plot of Every Bitter Thing is quite clever. Lucky hunches and accidental discoveries alternate with lots of nitty-gritty police work.

There's a high body count and a brutal MO, so the reader needs some tolerance for violence. But the book is a treat for readers who appreciate exotic locales. Inspector Silva's Brazil offers dangerous roads haunted by robbers, streets where johns cruise for prostitutes, wealthy gated communities and places where tourists never go.

Overall, Every Bitter Thing is a satisfying police procedural with an engaging cast of cops.

There's not much detail about the personal lives of the detectives in this book. For all the back stories, I recommend reading the series in order: (1) Blood of the Wicked, (2) Buried Strangers, (3) Dying Gasp and (4) Every Bitter Thing.
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Every Bitter Thing is another great book in Leighton Gage's Chief Inspector Mario Silva series.

What I like so much about the writing is that it's fast paced, the characters are great, I especially like Silva. He runs a tight investigation and as in the other books, justice is served.

You get a strong sense of what it's like in Brazil, what the people are like and a realistic perspective of just how corrupt and uncaring the police are.

If you like well plotted police procedurals with characters you'll despise and others you'll like and want to see more of you'll enjoy reading this book.

I also loved the first three in the series and I'm looking forward to the fifth.
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The fourth novel in Leighton Gage's Mario Silva series finds the Brazilian chief inspector and his Federal Police team sent to the scene of a particularly brutal and politically sensitive murder: Juan Rivas, the son of the Venezuelan foreign minister, has been shot once in the abdomen and then beaten to death, leaving his body barely recognizable. The pressure from above for a quick solution will be heavy, and in fact, the delegado of the civil police is sure that he has solved the case already, when he discovers Rivas's gay lover living in the apartment one floor down. Open and shut.

But, then, it isn't. Other murders are discovered, their victims scattered in other cities and having no apparent relationship to Rivas or his love life. When ballistics tests show one gun involved in the shootings, then Silva and his crack team must go to work and discover the connection. The investigation leads them into some of Brazil's largest cities and into the countryside, and even requires the assistance of a Miami detective friend of Silva's. The conclusion is not what one expects.

This excellent series continues to showcase Gage's ability to convey the genuineness of his Brazilian setting, and the interplay of the various governmental agencies, particularly the police force rivalries. The book has the feel of authenticity that comes from an author's intimate knowledge of his setting. Who but a local would know that the bombastic ruler of neighboring Venezuela is known as The Clown in the streets of Sao Paulo? Mr. Gage's wife is Brazilian, and they spend a part of every year in that country. His familiarity with the nuances of Brazil's day-to-day customs is reflected in his work.

EVERY BITTER THING is a welcome addition to the annals of Chief Inspector Mario Silva. Now, when is the next one due?
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