Brazil is hosting soccer’s World Cup—and the police must solve the kidnapping of a star player’s mother—in this “world-class procedural series” (The Wall Street Journal).
It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe’s premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. A victory for the home team is inextricably linked to the skills of the country’s principal striker, Tico “The Artist” Santos, and all the politicians in Brasilia, from the president of the Republic on down, have their seats squared away for the finale—where they hope to see Argentina, Brazil’s bitterest rival, humbled by the Brazilian eleven.
But then, just three weeks before the first game, Tico’s mother is kidnapped. The star is distraught. The public is appalled. The politicians are outraged. And the pressure is on Chief Inspector Mario Silva to get her back.
Suspects aren’t lacking. Among them, are a cabal of Argentineans, suspected of having spirited the lady away to put Tico off his game; the star’s gold-digging, top-model girlfriend, whom his mother dislikes and has been trying to get out of his life; his principal rival, who wants to play in Tico’s place, and the man whose leg Tico broke during a match, destroying his career . . .
Set mostly in S o Paolo, Brazil, in the two weeks leading up to the FIFA World Cup, Gage's stellar fifth Chief Insp. Mario Silva police procedural (after 2010's Every Bitter Thing) centers on the kidnapping of Juraci Santos, the abrasive mother of Brazil's new Pele, Tico "the Artist" Santos. At the bidding and mercy of political animal Sampaio, the Federal Police director, Silva and his team investigate a number of suspects, including chilling Brazilian mobsters and hostile soccer rival Argentinians. An honest judge with a $1 million price on his head and Tico's mercenary girlfriend provide clues. Silva, a tough, compassionate cop with an alcoholic wife and an unerring instinct for working the system, tackles this highly spiced case with his usual aplomb. Rising above Brazilian brutality, corruption, and bribery with uncommon wit and the help of his colorful, appealing colleagues, he scores a winning goal in an enormously complex kidnap payoff scheme.