The writer kindly offered me a review copy of the fifth Chief Inspector Mario Silva mystery, set in Brasil.
The story begins with a sinister kidnapping, but the writer adds a humorous touch to the scene because we see it through the eyes of Luca, the victim´s colourblind gardener.
“Less than an hour after Juraci Santos was unceremoniously dumped into the backseat of her kidnappers´ getaway car, Luca Vaz crept through her front gate and poisoned her bougainvilleas.”
Luca steals into her garden during the night to poison her new bougainvilleas because he has realized they are not of the blood red variety the lady wanted. And unfortunately for a gardener, Luca ´wasn´t just color blind; he suffered from the most severe and rarest form of the malady: achromatopsia.´
Of course the kidnappers have chosen a victim who has wealthy connections. In this case Juraci Santos´ son is ´The Artist´, the most prominent player of the Brazilian football team – and the crime takes place thirteen days before the FIFA World Cup! Obviously Silva´s boss expects the team to solve this mess in time for the crucial event so their player can focus on the game.
Apart from an intriguing plot which made me think ´ah, that´s what happened´, the novel offers a thought-provoking insight into life in Brazil.
“From overhead came the constant drone of helicopters, the favored form of transport for the city´s wealthy elite, and the only reliable way to get anywhere in Sao Paulo on a weekday morning…”
A fine series, and even though it is darker than many I read, the story is not unnecessarily gory, and I am looking forward to more volumes about Mario Silva and his team.