Leighton Gage was an American author of Crime Fiction that was born in 1942 in Rahway, New Jersey and died in 2013 in Miami, Florida at the age of 71. Even though he was American, Gage spent a lot of time in foreign nations like Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina, not to mention Australia.
Order of Chief Inspector Mario Silva Series
It was because of his extended stays abroad that Gage eventually broadened his base of languages, learning to speak German, Portuguese, Spanish and even French. Having been an international creative director with a myriad of awards from all over the world recognizing his creative efforts, even though Gage traveled to many a nation, it was Brazil that found a place in his heart.
The twenty years he spent in Sau Paulo had such an impact on him, allowing him to nurture an unbreakable bond with Brazilian culture. As such, it is hardly surprising that all Leighton Gage novels are set in Brazil. All the books are detective stories featuring Chief inspector Mario Silva. Leighton Gage always endeavored to play with concepts and plot elements that were unique to Brazil, experimenting with issues that represented the problems assaulting the nation at the time they were written and which most of Gage’s American readers would have considered foreign.
Gage fought Pancreatic Cancer for three months before finally succumbing to the illness and passing away at his home in 2013.
Best Leighton Gage Books
The strength of Leighton Gage’s work lay in his ability to so viscerally represent Brazilian culture; his ability to paint Brazil’s many problems garnered the author many fans abroad, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:
Dying Gasp: When the granddaughter of a prominent politician disappears, it falls on the shoulders of Silva and his team to save her. However, the objective won’t be an easy one to achieve. And that isn’t merely because of all the indifference Silva must deal with from within his own department.
Manus is a hellhole and the evil doctor making gory snuff films within its confines is nothing to scoff at. Silva knows that he will need all his wits to make it out alive, especially in light of all the corrupt local cops that could prove to be a threat to his cause.
The third book in the Mario Silva series can be read as a standalone novel. There are definitely some undercurrents that will only make sense to those that have read previous novels. But the novel can still be enjoyed independently.
Even though the core of the story is situated in Brazil, the book kicks things off in the Netherlands. When a postal truck is drawn into a terrorist attack and its mail is scattered everywhere, one random postal worker stumbles upon a DVD, takes it home, views it and discovers that it is a snuff film.
The DVD is of some importance to Silva, the protagonist, because he has been charged with finding the fifteen-year-old granddaughter of a prominent politician. Even though his granddaughter has run away before, the politician in question still sees fit to put Silva to the task of finding her, promising to look favorably upon his department when his team’s budget proposal is eventually submitted.
The DVD eventually makes its way back to Brazil where Silva realizes that the girl in the snuff film is the fifteen-year-old girl he’s been hired to find. It is soon determined that the girl has been captured by a pimp who intends to sell her off unless Silva can find her.
The book delves deeply into the arena of South American Crime.
Every Bitter Thing: When the son of a Venezuelan Foreign Minister is found dead in Brasilia, Chief Inspector Mario Silva is charged with finding his killer. With a little prodding, Silva quickly realizes that the Foreign Minister’s son’s death matches that of various other victims that from all over Brazil.
Noting that all of them were killed with the same MO, Silva cannot help but wonder how the Foreign Minister’s son could be connected to all the previous victims.
This book centers on Juan Rivas, the son of Jorge Rivas, a prominent politician from Venezuela. When Juan is killed, Silva looks to his neighbors, specifically one older man that was having a relationship with his father.
Silva eventually learns that Juan’s death and that of three previous victims might have something to do with their perceived sexual orientation.