Carmen Amato . . . Books about risk, power, corruption. Relationships with heat.
If you like novels by Jo Nesbo, Ian Rankin, Martin Cruz Smith, and Michael Stanley, you'll want to read Carmen Amato.
Originally from New York, Carmen Amato's experiences living in Mexico and Central America drive the authenticity and drama of her thriller and mystery novels. Her Emilia Cruz series pits the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force against Mexico's drug war and culture of machismo.
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!"
A religious relic lures Emilia Cruz, Acapulco's first and only female police detective, into a labyrinth of drug cartel smuggling and revenge killings in DIABLO NIGHTS, the third novel in the explosive Emilia Cruz Mexico mystery series.
A RELIC AND A SECRETThe relic, from Mexico's Cristero War, also surfaces a long-hidden personal secret that Emilia cannot share with the man in her life, hotel manager Kurt Rucker.
The relic's authenticity is in doubt, however, as Emilia and her partner, senior detective Franco Silvio, find a murder victim aboard a cruise ship. The victim's pockets are lined with Ora Ciega, a rare heroin strain from Colombia that promises more drug war violence for Acapulco's already bloody streets.
TRAILS AND STALKERSThe Ora Ciega trail leads Emilia to a second body; that of Yolanda Lata, the mother of a girl for whom Emilia has been searching; as well as to a dead Customs official who had valuable information about the cruise ship murder. When stalkers shadow Emilia, the only conclusion is that she's getting close to the Ora Ciega smugglers. Meanwhile, she's assigned to train a rookie detective with friends in high places.
The destinies of Ora Ciega, the religious relic, the rookie, and the missing girl merge into a fateful trip into the hills above Mexico's Costa Chica coast south of Acapulco. In a lonely place where vigilante groups have replaced civil authority and the crash of surf competes with gunshots, Emilia will face the biggest challenge of her police detective career. But it's nothing compared to the shocking climax waiting for her back in Acapulco.
Carmen Amato's fans have been impatient for DIABLO NIGHTS, the third novel in the Emilia Cruz mystery series that goes inside Mexico's drug war with a fearless style and a woman who is hard to forget.It follows HAT DANCE, and CLIFF DIVER, the novel that Kirkus Reviews called "Consistently exciting . . . A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers eager for the series' next installment." Readers agree that Acapulco police detective Emilia Cruz joins John Rebus, Harry Hole, Arkady Renko, and Guido Brunetti as the international mystery genre's most memorable crime fighters.
MADE IN ACAPULCO is a collection of 5 Emilia Cruz stories that chronicle her first experiences as the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force.
The stories in MADE IN ACAPULCO take place before the action in the full-length Emilia Cruz mystery novels, including CLIFF DIVER and HAT DANCE. They have the same fast and dangerous vibe that caused Kirkus Reviews to say this about CLIFF DIVER: “Consistently exciting . . . A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers eager for the series’ next installment.”
MADE IN ACAPULCO contains 5 stories:
The Beast captures Emilia’s struggle to become the first female police detective in Acapulco. It previously appeared in The Huffington Post’s Huff/Post 50 Featured Fiction showcase.
The Disappeared sees Emilia search for a friend who goes missing. Those who have gone missing amid Mexico’s drug war violence is a continuing theme throughout the mystery series.
The Artist was inspired by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s efforts to bring awareness to the plight of families impacted by the drug war violence and references photos of some of the rallies held in Mexico in recent years.
The Date explores the downside of a job that pits Emilia against Mexico’s enduring culture of machismo, while also drawing on real events that occurred in a nightclub in Mexico in 2006.
The Cliff is the original Emilia Cruz story. Written for a literary critique group, the story was initially entitled So Far From God and introduces hotel manager Kurt Rucker. The story became the basis for CLIFF DIVER, the first Emilia Cruz novel.
Note: this edition updates the 2012 edition of MADE IN ACAPULCO with additional original content. The 2012 edition is no longer in print.
HAT DANCE is the second book in the EMILIA CRUZ mystery series set in Acapulco.
Detective Emilia Cruz will risk a dance with the devil to catch a violent arsonist and find a missing girl from her own neighborhood. But when the music stops, the consequences could be fatal.
Together with hotel manager Kurt Rucker, Emilia survives a deadly arson attack. When the fire is labelled an assassination attempt against Acapulco’s popular mayor, Emilia’s investigation is turned into a political maneuver against both the local army presence and an old political rival.
Meanwhile, disturbed by what she finds out about the missing girl, whose dark family secrets may be the key to her disappearance, Emilia soon finds herself on the wrong side of a shady Vice cop and walking dark streets in search of answers.
Haunted by her fear of the fire and dismayed by Kurt’s consideration of a new job in Belize, Emilia’s professional skills and personal life start to unravel. She’s got information to trade, however, and making deals might be a way to survive both investigations.
But every honest cop knows you don’t deal with the devil . . . and survive.
CLIFF DIVER is the 1st novel in the Emilia Cruz mystery series.
When Detective Emilia Cruz dives into the death of a dirty cop she might just hit the rocks instead of the water.
Acapulco police detective Emilia Cruz is in charge of a murder investigation into the death of her shady lieutenant. With a violent crime scene, no witnesses, and the shadow of counterfeit money, it’s a high profile case that she’s reluctant to handle.
Book Cover of Cliff DiverAs Emilia pieces together the lieutenant’s last hours, she finds that he led a double life full of sexual encounters and shady deals. Soon she becomes a pawn in an ugly game of official corruption and grasping self-interest. Hotel manager Kurt Rucker might be able to help, but the heat between them quickly becomes a complicating factor.
Emilia dives into the case, ready to follow her instincts, but will she hit the rocks or the water?
Caught between Mexico's class system and the country's spiraling drug war, an attorney and a maid fight for their lives and each other in a political thriller torn from today's headlines. By the author of the explosive Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco.
A CHANCE MEETING FOR A MANMexico City attorney Eddo Cortez Castillo's unexpected relationship with housemaid Luz de Maria Alba Mora becomes a dangerous vulnerability when he investigates links between the Minister for Public Security and Mexico's most elusive drug cartel leader. But what Eddo doesn't know is that Luz is trapped at the bottom of Mexico's ladder of inequality, where broken dreams and family poverty have brought her to the breaking point.
FOLLOWING A BLOOD MONEY TRAIL OF CARTELS AND CORRUPTIONAs presidential elections near, Eddo's investigation will uncover a political double-cross fueled by a trail of blood money and drug cartels. With the help of a secret police brotherhood, he'll follow the trail as it twists and turns through a maze of smuggling and money laundering right up to the Mexican border with the United States. There he'll find the beating heart of Mexico's drug culture, where violence buys loyalty, votes are for sale, the odds are against survival, and only a woman whose name means Light of Mary can guide him out.
AND A WOMAN WHO FACES THE FIGHT OF HER LIFELuz cannot help Eddo, however, until she finds the courage to confront the social structure she has lived with for so long in Mexico City and dispel the supposed inequality in their relationship. She'll fight a parallel battle of suspense and survival as a soldier in the war being waged in the kitchens of the elite of Mexico City; a silent class war with its own impact on the country. Immigration to the United States may be her best chance for a real life as an artist, but it comes with a higher price than she may be able to pay.
When the lives of Eddo and Luz converge, and the cartels discover his investigation, they will both have to find the courage to survive. If they do, the real battle will have just begun.