Friday, January 31, 2014

THE WAYS OF EVIL MEN by Leighton Gage

Leighton Gage's The Ways of Evil Men opens with genocide.

Someone kills the remaining members of Brazil's Awana tribe except for two, a father and his young son.

The authorities don't much care. The local farmers are heavily involved because if the tribe is wiped out, the tribe's land can be used for ranching. First, the farmers will harvest the valuable hardwood trees.

Corrupt authorities bring in Federal Police Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his team. The authorities root for Silva and his team to fail.

A strong female newspaper reporter both complicates the situation and helps solve the crimes.

Along the way, other people kill the Awana father and one of the chief suspects in the crime.

This book is filled with violence and injustice. 

Mario Silva rescues the surviving little Awana boy. He also ignores a major, but justified, murder.

Silva solves what is more than one murder done by more than one murderer.

One of my favorite blogs “Lesa's Book Critiques” also points out that Gage fills the book with strong women, both good and evil.

I've always thought that institutional evil, the kind of evil perpetrated by judgmental churches or corrupt governments, is among the worst kind of evil ever. Gage's story reeks with institutional evil.

The Ways of Evil Men is filled with rage—Leighton Gage's rage and Mario Silva's rage.

Leighton Gage died within the last year. When mystery readers lost Leighton Gage, we lost one of our strongest voices for justice and compassion.  


“Indians aren't at all like you and I. We're civilized. They're savages.”
     --One of the authorities expresses the prevailing opinion about the Brazilian Indians.
“Money buys justice in this part of the world.”
     --Mario Silva, said cynically.
It was a small issue in comparison to everything else on his plate, but little issues of injustice sometimes bothered [Silva] as much as the larger ones. It was an aspect of his character.


Naomi Johnson said...

I'm going to miss having new books from Leighton Gage. He left us far too soon. I feel sure he had more to say on the human condition.

Joe Barone said...

I agree, Naomi. Very few writers have what I would call Gage's genuine passion to expose injustice.