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Brazil. The name conjures up a seductive image of a bikini-clad girl dancing the samba along a Rio beach. But it is also a country with deep-rooted social and political problems, where less than one percent of the population owns half the arable land, where the wealthy live in gated, guarded luxury while the poor are crammed into squalid favelas, or shantytowns, and where corrupt local police enforce their own laws. Against this backdrop, Gage, who lived in Brazil for many years, sets his debut mystery, a gripping and brutal tale of murder and vengeance. When a sniper's bullet cuts down a bishop in an agricultural town in the state of São Paulo, Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police is ordered to investigate. Was the bishop, who disapproved of liberation theology, assassinated by a radical priest seeking to redistribute land to the poor, or was he killed by powerful landowners offended by his sermon condemning the recent gruesome murder of an activist and his family? The body count rises, as Silva and his team find their probe hampered by crooked cops, ambitious reporters, and missing witnesses. Sensitive readers, be warned: there are graphic scenes of horrific violence. But Gage's inspector is a fascinating character, a man who once dispensed his own brand of Brazilian justice now charged with upholding the law of the land. Highly recommended.