A high-profile kidnapping captures national attention and puts a spotlight on the detectives trying to rescue the victim.
Juraci Santos, the mother of Brazilian soccer superstar Tico Santos, known as "The Artist," is snatched from her home and dumped into the back seat of a getaway car. Knowing that failure could derail his career, Nelson Sampaio, Director of the Brazilian Federal Police, sends the case to hardboiled Mario Silva (Every Bitter Thing, 2010, etc.). Given the looming FIFA World Cup, which has raised Brazil's rivalry with Argentina to fever pitch, he recognizes the importance of the case and promises to get Juraci back. The crime scene is far more violent than Silva or his team of detectives, which includes his put-upon nephew Costa, expect. Not only did the intruders shoot Juraci's two maids to death and break the back of her toy poodle, but one of them poisoned her prize bouganvilleas. A nosy neighbor named Rodolfo saw the kidnappers' car but, he claims, none of their faces. Flamboyant stylist Jacques Jardin—who has a hot temper, a grudge against Tico and a rap sheet—is quick to implicate Tico's volatile girlfriend Cintia Tadesco, whose ruinous relationship with French actor Marco Franco should have been a cautionary tale for Tico. There seems to be no dearth of suspects, but there's also the little matter of rescuing the victim.
A brisk, colorful police thriller with much interesting information about contemporary Brazil. As usual, the strong and disparate personalities of Silva's detectives add spice to their fifth case.