Many books published in the USA get recommendations from various newspapers, but Perfect Hatred has a blurb on the cover from no less than the Wall Street Journal which reads: “Hard -hitting, atmospheric… a world-class procedural series.”
An analysis and opinion I can endorse. Each of the Mario Silva investigation series deals with some of the numerous problems which face the Brazilian Federal Police in that vast country.
Perfect Hatred blends the investigation of a suicide bomb outrage at the American Consulate in Sao Paulo, with the separate search for the person behind the assassination in Curitiba of Plinio Saldana, a reformist candidate for the Governorship of Parana Province. With these twin tragedies occurring within hours of each other Mario Silva is forced to split his experienced team of his nephew Hector, his longtime friend Arnaldo Nunes, Haraldo “Babyface” Goncalves, Mara Carta, Hector’s Chief of Intelligence, Lefkowitz the forensics expert, and Danusa, who during her time in the Israeli Defence Forces did something in logistics and supply. The team gradually work through a systematic questioning of witnesses and relatives in an attempt to track down those behind these horrific crimes. When Nestor, the candidate’s bodyguard, wounded in the assassination is murdered in the Santa Cruz Hospital Mario Silva suspects a political conspiracy.
As the investigation proceeds it turns out that Plinio Saldana, has a mean corrupt father, a useless brother, both as capable of murder as his electoral opponent the corrupt Governor Abbas. Plinio’s wife Stella becomes the leading candidate but she is not quite the good Samaritan they first thought.
Taggants in the C4 used in the American consulate bombing trace the explosive to the Paraguayan Army, and the hunt for the perpetrators of the Saldana murder also leads to the TBA [Tri-Border -Area] where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil meet, near the magnificent Iguacu Falls. This is coincidentally home to one of the largest Muslim communities in South America. Perfect Hatred is mixture of corrupt politicians, police on the take, Paraguayan smugglers, terrorists, plus jealous wives and mistresses, all blended together in an exciting story in an exotic setting. The situation is complicated by a third strand to the plot as a vicious and wealthy crook is plotting to kill a prosecutor and Mario Silva. In addition the reader is given a large amount of factual information about Brazil, its immigrant population, and in this book the cross border relations with Paraguay. Leighton Gage’s fund of knowledge about Brazil gives the books an accurate atmosphere.
What sets the Mario Silva series apart is that the smooth writing style makes for easy reading, the plots ring true in a country with so many problems, and author never pulls his punches and tackles difficult themes.
“In case you guys never noticed, politics and favoritism is what Brasilia is all about.”
Read my reviews of the rest of the Mario Silva series:
My copy was an ARC but this is a series I would not miss even if I did not receive a free copy.