Sunday, February 20, 2011

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet (review of Buried Strangers)

Hosted by Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise
By Friday of each week you have to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.
Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname.
So you see you have lots of choice.
You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow. 

This week the letter is G is brought to you by Leighton Gage, author of Buried Strangers.
Leighton Gage's wife is Brazilian and he spends part of each year in Santana do Parnaiba, Brazil, the rest of the year in Florida and The Netherlands. He has four daughters. This is his second novel in the Mario Silva series set in Brazil. (Bio info taken from the cover of the book)
See more G entries here.

Buried Strangers, by Leighton Gage, 308 pages

Global Reading Challenge: South America (Brazil)

The other mystery series I've read from Brazil, Inspector Espinoza series by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, is more akin to Poirot. Set in Rio de Janerio, Espinoza is a thinker, he analyzes suspects, and thinks about motives. Buried Strangers is more of a police procedural, with political intrigue in Sao Paulo.

Chief Inspector Mario Silva works for the federal police. His boss is only interested in his political advancement, so Silva is left to connive the time and money to investigate real crimes, like the pile of skeletons found which seem to be families. Has no one been reported missing? Silva works with the local police, and his team. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series, as his team was a colourful cast with lots of personality, that seem to work very well together.  The story is intricate, and well-plotted with twists and turns as the police investigate. We stay for the most part on the police side of the investigation, but each character is given a background which adds depth to the good and bad guys.

Brazil has a different history, and culture, and reading mysteries exposes me to such different places.This story includes many historical issues, including police on the take, treatment of native Brazilians, slums, some Nazi war criminals, and organ donations. Silva writes from a local perspective, and his love and knowledge of Brazil come through.

The Mario Silva Series
Blood of the Wicked
Buried Strangers
Dying Gasp
Every Bitter Thing