Gage’s second Mario Silva mystery is an impressive follow up to an excellent debut (Blood of the Wicked, 2008), with an equally compelling plot, fascinating characters, and a story so real and chilling, it’s hard to image it happening anywhere else but Silva’s Brazil. When a dog accidentally locates a secret burial site in an isolated park on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Silva takes on the massive, country-spanning investigation.
With the assistance of his officers in Sao Paulo, competent nephew Hector, dangerously charming Babyface, and some no-nonsense street cops, Silva directs the investigation from Brasilia, uncovering links to an agency reputed to smuggle Brazilians into the U.S. Although the new novel is an oldschool police procedural in which procedure, not character development, is the focus of the story, the rapid character sketches are so vivid, and the dialogue between team members so snappy and realistic, it’s hard to imagine that these people are not real cops, working on a real crime. Gage’s talents include not only captivating characters and realistic plots, but also an intensely realized sense of place and an urelentingly fast pace that yanks the reader from beginning to end, unable to stop or pause, just as the cops are unable to take a day off. Silva just may be South America’s Kurt Wallander.