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Gage, Leighton 1942- (Leighton D. Gage)

Gage, Leighton 1942- (Leighton D. Gage)

PERSONAL:

Born 1942; married; children: four. Education: Graduated from college. Hobbies and other interests: Traveling, sailing, diving, and reading.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Miami, Florida; The Hague, The Netherlands; São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer; worked as a copywriter, advertising creative director, magazine editor, and a writer, producer, and director of documentary films and industrial videos. Has been a jury member in major advertising film festivals, including the Lions Festival at Cannes, the Clio Awards, the New York Film Festival, and the One Show of the Art Director's Club of New York.

WRITINGS:

Blood of the Wicked, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2008.

Buried Strangers, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2008.

Dying Gasp, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2009.

SIDELIGHTS:

Leighton Gage was born in 1942. A writer, advertising executive, and producer, he has worked in various positions, as a copywriter for advertising campaigns, an advertising creative director, a magazine editor, and a writer, producer, and director of documentary films and industrial videos. His efforts have resulted in a number of awards, and he has served on the jury for the Lions Festival at Cannes, Clio Awards, New York Film Festival, and the One Show of the Art Director's Club of New York. Gage has lived in a wide range of countries in Australia, Europe, and South America, and travels extensively in these regions and in Africa and Asia. His travels have taken him to turbulent parts of the world at interesting times, particularly when countries have been under the yoke of dictators. He visited Spain while Francisco Franco was in charge, and Portugal when it was ruled by António de Oliveira Salazar. Gage also experienced apartheid in South Africa, and Communism in Prague, East Germany, and Yugoslavia. Gage has since moved on from advertising to become a full-time writer. While he does not write specifically about the places and experiences he has witnessed over the course of his life, Gage's travels and adventures inform his narratives and ideas.

Blood of the Wicked, Gage's first novel, was published in 2008. The book features Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters, who works for Brazilian Federal Police. Through Mario and his adventures, readers are able to observe the workings of a foreign police department. As the story begins, Mario is in the process of heading to Cascatas do Pontal, a rural region where Bishop Dom Felipe Antunes has been assassinated. Upon arriving, Mario soon discovers that the Landless Workers' League, a group that promotes the idea that rich and poor should take a share in the land alike, which must be distributed equally regardless of the financial qualifications of the individuals in question, was less than fond of the bishop. The group's dislike for the bishop stems from the fact that he refused to support their group or their beliefs, a marked difference in behavior and attitude from the previous bishop. In addition, Mario learns that the Landless Workers' League and the local landowners have been feuding for a long time. Tensions are high, and as a result, both Mario and his police officer nephew must be very careful in their investigation. Later in Blood of the Wicked, Orlando Muniz Junior, the son of one of the landowners, goes missing. At first, Mario thinks Orlando's disappearance and the bishop's death are unrelated, but during his investigation, it becomes more obvious that the cases are connected. Circumstances escalate as a local journalist covering the bishop's assassination is found dead with a slit throat. Meanwhile, even as he is deep in his investigation, Mario has a personal project involving a case of vigilante justice. His father and brother-in-law have both been murdered, and Mario is determined to locate the killer or killers and see that justice is served in one way or another. Although critics had mixed reactions to the novel, most found Gage's debut effort to be an entertaining and worthwhile read. Allison Block, in a review for Booklist, praised Mario, naming him "the most engaging among a cast of broadly drawn characters," and noted that Gage "vividly evokes a country of political corruption." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that Gage's first effort is an "ultraviolent mystery … not for the faint of heart." A contributor to the Mysterious Reviews Web site remarked that "the writing is first rate, descriptive and atmospheric. The primary plot is multidimensional, complex and intricate, yet surprisingly easy to follow, no small accomplishment for a book with a strong and varied cast of secondary characters, each participating in intersecting subplots."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Blood of the Wicked, p. 28.

New York Times Book Review, February 10, 2008, Marilyn Stasio, "Who Killed the Courtesan?," review of Blood of the Wicked.

Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007, review of Blood of the Wicked, p. 47.

ONLINE

Backstory Web log,http://mjroseblog.typepad.com/backstory/ (January 10, 2008), author profile.

Leighton Gage Home Page,http://www.leightongage.com (August 13, 2008).

Leighton Gage MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/236964006 (August 13, 2008).

Lesa's Book Critiques Web log,http://lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com/ (January 6, 2008), Lesa Holstein, review of Blood of the Wicked; (January 25, 2008), "Leighton Gage at the Velma Teague Library," review of Blood of the Wicked.

Mysterious Reviews Web site,http://www.mysteriousreviews.com/ (August 13, 2008), review of Blood of the Wicked.

Soho Press Web site,http://www.sohopress.com/ (August 13, 2008), author profile.

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