by Carmen Amato
November 1-30, 2021 Virtual Book Tour
In this explosive start to the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco, Emilia beat the odds to become the resort city's first female police detective. But she's living in a pressure cooker. Other detectives are scheming to push her out and the police department is riddled with corruption and drug cartel influence.
When the lieutenant is murdered, Emilia is assigned to lead the investigation. Soon the man’s sordid sex life, money laundering, and involvement in a kidnapping double-cross combine to create an ugly mess no one wants exposed. The high profile murder case could wreck Emilia’s career. When another detective--Emilia's worst enemy in the squadroom--emerges as the prime suspect, keeping her job might be the least of her worries.
Readers who love international mystery series crime fighters including Armand Gamache, Harry Hole, Guido Brunetti, and the Department Q series will also love Detective Emilia Cruz’s complex plots, pulse-pounding suspense, and exotic location. Perfect for lovers of detective fiction by Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, and Peter May, as well as Don Winslow’s Mexican cartel and border thrillers.
-- Kirkus Reviews
"A wonderful crime mystery"
Poison Cup award, Outstanding Series 2019 and 2020
-- CrimeMasters of America
Although the series has been out for a while, this is the first novel I've read by Amato. I am impressed. The plot takes us deep into an atmosphere of corrupt law enforcement and powerful and controlling politicians. Emilia is thrust into that cesspool when she is instructed to work on the murder of her superior. She is a gutsy woman, persevering even though so many are against her. The way she is treated by her fellow detectives is a prime example of prejudice against women. But look out men, she can hold her own.
I like how the title comes from Emilia watching cliff divers near a resort. A young man swings his arms in nervous anticipation. Emilia think she is like that cliff diver. She is not sure if she will land safely as she plunges into her work or if she will be dashed upon the rocks.
There are many issues explored in this novel. Police corruption is certainly prominent. There is loyalty, whether to fellow officers or to a corrupt politician. There is lying, whether to cover up corruption in the department or to protect a desperate protector of one he loves.
I am not sure I completely followed the complex plot with many suspects and several investigative lines. There was corruption on many levels and at different places to keep straight. But there was a good twist at the end I didn't see coming, even though the hints were there. I liked this novel so plan to catch up on the rest in the series.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Published by: Laurel & Croton
Publication Date: September 2021 (first published January 27, 2013)
Number of Pages: 302
ISBN: 1482308045 (ISBN13: 9781482308044)
Series: Emilia Cruz Mysteries #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Her award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series pits the first female police detective in Acapulco against Mexico's drug cartels, government corruption, and social inequality.
Described as "A thrilling series" by National Public Radio, the Detective Emilia Cruz series was awarded the Poison Cup for Outstanding Series from CrimeMasters of America in both 2019 and 2020 and has been optioned for television.
Originally from upstate New York, Carmen was educated there as well as in Virginia and Paris, France, while experiences in Mexico and Central America ignited her writing career.
Her family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, her great-grandfather, eluded a state-wide manhunt after killing two people--one of whom was his wife. He was never brought to justice. Carmen is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal.
Grab a free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library at CarmenAmato.net.
You'll see why Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer Grady Harp wrote: "For pure entertainment and a gripping story likely resulting in nail biting, read Carmen Amato's addictive prose. She knows this territory like a jaguar!"
Catch Up With Carmen:
BookBub - @CarmenAmato
Instagram - @authorcarmenamato
Facebook - @authorcarmenamato
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