I'm not one who normally enjoys books with a high body count, let alone gruesomely detailed deaths by torture. I'm from the Agatha Christie Old School: Meet the characters, kill one descretely (preferrably off stage), interview the suspects and then gather them all in a room for the denoument.
I got none of that from Leighton Gage's first effort Blood of the Wicked which, after a body count in the teens (I stopped counting), still was compelled to read it to the end. While it might not be my typical cup of tea, it proved to be a heady brew of mayhem that keeps you riveted. No one in this book is without sin -- not the assassin of a bishop, not the police, not the land owners and not the farm workers.
Set in Brazil, Blood of the Wicked introduces Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Federal Police and his nephew and partner Hector Costa. Together they investigate the bishop's death, and as the body count increases, the death of a disparate group who may or may not be connected with the initial crime.
Blood of the Wicked is a great start to a new series and Mario Silva, no saint himself, a compelling protagonist. Author Leighton Gage is on tour through March and the Brazilain-based writer (when he's not at home in the Netherlands or Florida) will be an interesting speaker.
For information on Gage's tour (and all other Soho Crime authors), check out Soho Crime's site at http://www.sohopress.com/tours.html Or go to the Events page at http://www.mysteryonmain.com/ for more information.