PACIFIC REAPER, the 5th book in the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series will be released for Kindle on 28 March, with the paperback version coming the following week. Detective Emilia Cruz discovers an altar to Santa Muerte at a crime scene and the case will impact her as no other.
Emilia meets Santa Muerte
A gang war is terrorizing Acapulco.
Murder victims are sacrificed to Santa Muerte, Mexico’s forbidden saint of death.
Will you investigate? Or be cursed?
Detective Emilia Cruz confronts her worst fears in PACIFIC REAPER, the 5th book in the sensational police procedural series set in today’s Acapulco. Emilia and her partner Franco Silvio respond to murder in the remote Coyuca Lagoon reserve and find an elaborate altar to Santa Muerte next to the body of a known gang member. Even hardened cops are frightened by the bloody scene’s warning to the enemies of Santa Muerte.
Rivals retaliate by hanging a murder victim on a billboard. Gang warfare erupts like wildfire, burning a line across Acapulco bay.
Focusing on the Santa Muerte angle, Emilia’s investigation is soon a maze of unholy clues. At the same time, everyone close to her has a brush with death. Bad luck? Or is the Skeleton Saint’s curse coming true?
Undercover as a Santa Muerte worshipper, Emilia’s life will be stripped of everything she holds dear.
PACIFIC REAPER was inspired by the growing cult of Santa Muerte in Mexico, documented in the seminal book DEVOTED TO DEATH by R. Andrew Chesnut. Dr. Chesnut writes that “Santa Muerte is first and foremost an unofficial saint who heals, protects, and delivers devotees to their destinations in the afterlife . . . Whether as a plaster statue or on a votive candle, gold medallion or a prayer card, she is most often depicted as a female Grim Reaper, weilding the same sythe and wearing a shroud similar to her male counterpart.”
Related: Book Review: DEVOTED TO DEATH
The cult of Santa Muerte in Mexico is growing rapidly and has been associated with both cartel violence and law enforcement. Dr. Chesnut notes that “Her appeal to all sides in the drug war testifies to . . . the force of her attraction to those whose line of work gives them an acute sense of their own mortality.” The dark side of Santa Muerte includes ritual killings, altars, tattoos and practices bordering on witchcraft.
The saint has many names: Skeleton Saint, The WhiteSister, The Bony Lady, etc. All of them give me the shivers.
You can check out Dr. Chesnut’s informative website about Santa Muerte: https://skeletonsaint.com/ and read his well-researched posts on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/rachesnut-570
Get ready for REAPER
A few months ago, NPR’s Felix Contreras asked me how many Emilia Cruz books I would write. Five seems like a huge milestone but I have enough ideas and research for 100! That being said, if you haven’t read the first four, get going before REAPER sneaks up on you!
Once again, cover artist Matt Chase has nailed it! The cover of PACIFIC REAPER is my new favorite. What do you think?
Best of 2020 Yes, 2020 had a silver lining. We all stayed home and read more. Every other Sunday, I fed the collective appetite of fellow mystery lovers with the Mystery Ahead newsletter. Readers enjoy sneak peaks of what I'm writing now AND reviews of books I love...
ONCE UPON A TIME My hometown of Rome, New York, was a close-knit community where almost everyone was Italian, Irish, or Polish and a Roman Catholic. Five hours away from New York City and the Statue of Liberty by train, the city was surrounded by dairy farms, with...
Non-fiction author Erik Larsen (DEAD WAKE, THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE, etc.) writes true crime with the sweep, suspense, and vocabulary of the best fiction authors. THUNDERSTRUCK may not be his best known book but it is the incredible saga...
FYI: Carmenamato.net uses Amazon Affiliate links.