Multiple cross-currents complicate a high-profile Brazilian murder investigation.
Cynical photographer Walter Abendthaler snaps countless photographs of bishop Dom Felipe, who’s arrived by helicopter for a visit to the Brazilian agricultural town of Cascatas do Pontal. Faithful villagers and political protesters are both out in force when the bishop is killed by a covert assassin’s high-powered rifle. The case falls to brooding Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters, headquartered in the capital city of São Paulo. As the investigation moves forward, flashbacks fill in the grim past that formed Silva’s worldview. While he was a college student in the ’70s, his parents were hijacked by street thugs who raped his mother and killed his father. After deciding in an instant to enter law enforcement, Silva spent the next few years hunting down the men who destroyed his parents. He’s raised eyebrows by making his laconic nephew his second in command. Their investigation casts a wide net as they explore internal conflicts of the clergy, clashes between the church and political factions and, courtesy of an elusive street urchin, the criminal underbelly of the region. As Silva also trades barbs with jaded newspaper editor Diana Poli, Gage creates a contemporary tapestry of Brazil by detailing the backstories of Diana and several others.
Gage’s debut builds a compelling foundation for future Silva cases.