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The Ways of Evil Men

A Mario Silva Investigation by Leighton Gage

The Ways of Evil Men by Leighton Gage

Review: When 39 members of a 41 member tribe are found dead on their reservation in a remote section of rainforest in northern Brazil, the local authorities don't feel a need to investigate as it is the responsibility of the federal government. But if these officials believed that the government wouldn't take the mass deaths seriously they were wrong, when Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his team are sent in to determine what happened, in The Ways of Evil Men, the seventh and final mystery in this series by the late Leighton Gage.

While Silva is en route to Azevedo, the frontier town closest to the reservation, the residents are up in arms over the murder of a local landowner, Omar Torres. After traveling off his land to report the massacre of his people, the one surviving adult tribesman, Amati, was found unconscious next to the body, a machete in his hand. Believing him to be the murderer, and fearful for their own families from another attack by this "savage", several men roust him from the jail and lynch him in front of a crowd of onlookers. Too late to save Amati, Silva is determined to see that justice is served for his 8-year-old son, Raoni, the now lone survivor of the Awana tribe.

The Ways of Evil Men is far less violent than some of the previous books in this series, with the murders taking place off stage and very little graphic violence depicted within the narrative itself. As such, it is more of a standard police procedural, albeit a solidly plotted one, with Silva and his associates interviewing the likely suspects one by one, following clues, and comparing notes afterwards. The motive behind the massacre would seem to be obvious: the reservation was rich in hardwood timberland, all protected from being harvested by the government, while the men who owned vast tracts of land adjacent to it were cutting their trees at an alarming rate. But who killed Torres, and why? The mystery deepens a bit when a story of gold surfaces; could a hidden mine of riches be literally next door to the landowners and be completely untouchable as long as the tribe existed? (The state of Para, where the book takes place, is the site of the largest gold mining operations in the country.) The complexity of the storyline together with several credible paths of misdirection make this one of the better books in this already very good series; sadly, it will also be the last.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of The Ways of Evil Men for this review.

Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Perfect Hatred by Leighton GagePerfect Hatred
Soho Press (Hardcover), February 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616951764; ISBN-10: 1616951761

Location(s) referenced in The Ways of Evil Men: Brazil

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The Ways of Evil Men by Leighton Gage

The Ways of Evil Men by A Mario Silva Investigation

Publisher: Soho Press
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-61695-272-3
Publication Date:
List Price: $26.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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