The Detective Emilia Cruz series

Emilia Cruz is the first and only female police detective in Acapulco. The city is Mexico’s homicide capital where rival cartels fight for smuggling routes along the Pacific coast. Every day, Emilia faces drug violence, official corruption, and Mexico’s culture of machismo. Plots are torn from today’s headlines: missing persons, money laundering, drug violence, cartels, crooks, and official corruption.

“A thrilling series” — NPR’s AltLatino

Reviews     More about the series      Emilia Cruz’s Acapulco      Cover artist Matt Chase      Starter Library

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Finalist for the Silver Falchion award for Best Procedural of 2017 from the Killer Nashville International Writer’s Conference.

“The narrative was superb. The climax was smashing, kept me on the edge . . . [Emilia] is this rugge, hardened cop but someone who still has some feelings left in her . . . If you love crime thrillers, then definitely give this a go.” — BookVue

“What is uncovered in “43 Missing” is astounding. Amato is thoroughly convincing in her version of what might have happened in real life. The two cases of the missing boys and Cruz’ search for personal revenge overlap in complex and frightening ways. This is a haunting page-turner.  Amato’s books are set in Mexico, with vivid images of the country’s landscape and unique architecture, both old and new. She includes descriptions of the meals eaten in street-side cafes and great restaurants, reminding me how much I love Mexican food. Taut writing ramps up the tension in “43 Missing,” as Amato deals with the issues plaguing any two countries battling the drug trade and human trafficking along their borders. The tragedy of decent members of society caught in the crossfire, stayed with me long after I finished the book.” — Nightstand Reviews

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“A brilliant character-driven detective story. It has a creative and well written multifaceted storyline . . . a smart read filled with twists and turns.” — Artisan Book Reviews

“Carmen Amato has created a compelling, complex, well-rounded and durable character . . . PACIFIC REAPER is a great read — and a great reason to pick up the other books in Amato’s Emilia Cruz series.” – Jim Nesbitt, author of the Ed Earl Burch detective series

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“Amato juxtaposes the Mexian city of Acapulco’s glittering, wealthy enclaves with its seamy, violent underbelly. Emilia inhabits both worlds, albeit uncomfortably . . . Amato weaves an intricate assortment of themes into a vivid tapestry that depicts both the beauty and ugliness of Acapulco . . . with danger and betrayal never more than a few pages away.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

“I really like Emilia, I liked her from the very first book . . . She is not afraid of a good fight–figuratively and literally–and some of her bully colleagues’ faces have met with her fists more than once.” — MysterySequels

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“Amato brings her characters to life with her vivid writing style and sets them on the streets of a Mexico steeped in Catholicism and corruption . . . Amato’s committment to realism ensures that readers are left with the knowledge that there are some battles that canot be won and there are some enemies too powerful to defeat . . . a very unique and gripping mystery novel.” — Online Book Club

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“A fresh, character-driven approach to crime writing . . . [Amato] just tells about interesting characters striving to improve their lives in the difficult environment of modern-day Acapulco, rendering a story far richer than the thriller-factories of the big publishing houses. If she continues writing this series, I’ll keep reading it.” — Steve Clason for LibraryThing

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“An intense, gripping and shocking read . . . full of enigmatic characters and a fierce female protagonist.” — RedHeadedBookLoverBlog

“A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers eager for the series’ next installment.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

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“Carmen Amato’s strong development of character and story line are evident in each of these short tales; each leading into and connecting with the next. The last story in this book became the first chapter in her book, “Cliff Diver,” part of the Emilia Cruz Series. The writing is strong, the characters believable and interesting and the depictions of place and events intriguing. As a bonus, you will get to read the first two chapters of Amato’s political thriller, “The Hidden Light of Mexico City.” I recommend this book as a quick read and introduction into the work of a very talented writer.” — Norm Hamilton, author of thriller FROM THINE OWN WELL

© 2018 Carmen Amato.


I'm author Carmen Amato.

I used to work for the CIA, now I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco.

Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.


Starter Library

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