Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Buried Strangers by Leighton Gage (Soho, 2008)


Here is a link to my BookLoons review of Buried Strangers by Leighton Gage.


Here is a cut and paste copy of the review:


Five-years old, brown-eyed, and prone to wander away frequently from the house, Herbert surprises everyone when he proudly displays a human bone that he found near his secluded home in the densely forested Serra da Cantareira near Sao Paolo, Brazil. When police are summoned to the scene of Herbert's discovery, Herbert offers little assistance to law enforcement officials. After all, what could an old-English sheepdog contribute to the policemen's investigation?


Under the guidance of Mario Silva - the Brasilia-based federal policeman with striking jet black eyes who always wears a gray suit - the investigators quickly find something more shocking than Herbert's disturbing trophy. They find 37 human skeletons - including those of 24 children - buried together in shallow, neatly plotted graves. When the pathologists suggest a uniformly singular cause of death for every one of the bodies, Silva realizes that Sao Paolo may have either a serial murderer or something even worse in its midst.

Soon, though, the course of the investigation encounters numerous twists and turns, and the crimes discovered in Serra da Cantareira seem to have shocking connections to powerful personalities with intriguing links to Brazil's notorious history. Mario Silva, surrounded by a few impressive associates, is relentless, indefatigable, and motivated by a deeply personal reason as he pursues the person (or persons) responsible for the heinous crimes - especially maddening to Silva is the senseless murder of innocent children.

As a most highly recommended follow-up to his universally praised debut novel, Blood of the Wicked, Leighton Gage's Buried Strangers is a gritty, shocking, top-notch police procedural guaranteed to entertain even the most discerning fans of the genre. Though Buried Strangers will almost certainly offend the Brazilian federal police (who, with few exceptions, are portrayed in the novel as almost universally venal), Mario Silva (the most charming exception to the corrupt cops) will win over readers and leave them looking forward to more terrific writing from Leighton Gage.




8 comments:

  1. Gage was a highly skilled author of gritty crime fiction, Tim. He is sorely missed, and I'm glad you mentioned his work today. I can also say that, as a person, he was a pleasant, decent human being. He is missed on that score, too.

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  2. Tim,

    The detective and setting sound interesting, so I will check around a bit. However, I will not read this one as I avoid mysteries about the murder or torture of children, or animals also for that matter. Just an idiosyncrasy of mine.

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    1. me, too... in "real" life Brazil increasingly sounds like a place to stay away from...

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  3. Margot, Fred, Mudpuddle (et al): I agree that Gage is worth reading, but I also understand how certain topics and themes cannot be tolerated well. Yes, the world out there is a dangerous place, and crime fiction novelists often have to shine on light on those dangers even if we would rather not look.

    Now, I have a question about editorial content and approach for each of you: Do you prefer the direct presentation of reviews (i.e., my cut-and-paste approach), or do you prefer to go to the original source(s) (i.e., BookLoons and elsewhere)? This is less a question of authorial rights (i.e., do I own the reviews, or do publishers own the reviews?) and more of a question about blog visitors' personal preferences with all things considered. Perhaps this a can of worms because of review ownership, but it is now open for comment.

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    1. Tim,

      I prefer the direct approach because it's easier to respond if the review is in front of me, rather than having to go back to the other site and check it out there and then come back here to respond.

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    2. Fred, thanks for the feedback. I guess I should present it both ways; that gives readers the immediacy of the review, but I can also give credit via a link to the original publication source. Yep! That might be the solution!

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  4. what you choose to reprint is of interest, because you chose it; and your interpretations are interesting as well...

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