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Cliff Diver (Detective Emilia Cruz Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 300 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Consistently exciting . . . A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers of the series eager for the next installment.--Kirkus Review

From the Author

The little church in Mexico City was decorated for Christmas with 100 red poinsettias. Every pew was filled, many with sleepy but excited children, for a special Christmas Eve midnight mass. Father Richard was leading us in the Prayer of the Faithful when a man staggered up the center aisle, his limbs jerking as he alternately murmured and shouted incomprehensible words. We all shrank back as he made his way towards the altar, an unexpected and volatile presence.
 
As the congregation looked on in growing panic, the man accosted Father Richard. The priest didn't move or stop the prayer, just dug through his robes for a pocket. He pulled out a few pesos and pressed them into the man's hand.
 
By that time several of the male congregants had come onto the altar as well and they gently propelled the drug-addled man back down the altar steps and through the church to the rear door.
 
Christmas mass continued and the addict remained nameless to the shaken congregation. But he stayed with all of us, evidence that Mexico's own drug problem was growing as more and more drugs transited the country en route to the insatiable United States.
 
More than that, however, he reminded me of the drug war raging just outside our happy expatriate bubble. We were an American family in Mexico City, embracing a new culture, exploring a vibrant city, and meeting people who were to impact our lives for years to come. But we always knew that the bubble was fragile and as if to prove it, Mexico's news grew worse in the new year: shootouts in major cities, multiple drug seizures, rising numbers of dead and missing, the murders of mayors, governors and journalists.
 
But somehow, news of what was going on in Mexico rarely pierced through to the big media outlets in the US, the country most impacted as the drug war raged on its border. US news was more concerned with domestic politics, the Middle East, Europe's economic woes, and Lindsay Lohan. Any stories that did make it to prime time viewed Mexico's drug war in the context of the US national debate on immigration. The real story--the toll that the drug wars were taking on the people and culture of Mexico--wasn't getting out.
 
I carried my memories of Mexico with me when we left. I poured them into a new novel, bringing a fast-paced contemporary style to a Cinderella story set against the backdrop of political corruption and cartel violence. The result was the 2012 political thriller The Hidden Light of Mexico City, a story from the heart that took on both Mexico's rigid social system and the corruption that flows from huge drug profits. The reviews made me sure that contemporary fiction could ignite popular interest in what was happening in Mexico better than the news could.
 
And then I met Emilia Cruz.
 
Well, to be honest, I wrote Emilia Cruz, the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force and the central character in a new mystery series. Cliff Diver is the first novel in a series which will go inside Mexico's drug war with a style that is fast and a little raw, but won't let go of hope.
 
Emilia and I are in it for the long haul. We'll see if a mystery series can raise awareness of what's going on in Mexico, with plot elements straight out of the headlines, an authentic dive into one of the most beautiful settings on earth, and a little salsa fresca from my own years living in Mexico and Central America.

 
The drug addict unknowingly gave a gift that Christmas day. The Emilia Cruz series will pay it forward.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1726 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B76XSUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Risk, revenge, and corruption. Relationships with heat. Action torn from today's headlines.

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 police procedural series pits the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force against Mexico's drug war and legendary government corruption. Get your free copy of the series' prequel at carmenamato.net.

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!"

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first mystery I've encountered that is set in Mexico. The book captured both the drug war and Mexican corruption with astonishing authenticity. I really got a sense of the Mexico behind Acapulco's tourism. The book is refreshingly real and totally believable. It is fast paced with amazingly well-drawn characters. It's also not heavy on forensics, but the real quality is in the storytelling and the continual plot twists as Emilia tries to run down the facts. There is a great web of relationships, notably between between Emilia and the other detectives--not all the world is very evolved when it comes to women taking over traditionally male jobs--and Emilia and her unhinged mother. I also enjoy the promise of a simmering romance. Highly recommended for those looking for a fast, fresh take on cop mysteries.
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By Judy on March 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in order to write an honest review of it. Cliff Diver was a fast-paced book that keep me guessing. The characters were well developed as was the description of the parts of Mexico that tourists never encounter. At first, it was hard to fathom that a police department in an area where there are many American tourists would have detectives that did not speak English. That seemed unreal until I thought about it in more detail. I loved that the bad guy was a total surprise to me. I also liked the developing relationship of Emilia and Kurt. I will certainly read more in the Emilia Cruz series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An inside look at being a cop in Acapulco with all of the dirty deals and corruption. A great female character you can like and root for.

I enjoyed the book, the characters were well done and the plot kept me interested.

Unfortuately, though, this book suffers from the same issue I have with many of the Kindle books I've read lately - proofreading errors :( Makes me think that too many authors just rely on spell check these days instead of hiring an actual person to proofread their books. "Made de Dios" will pass spell check but the phrase is "Madre de Dios". Those types of errors should remind authors that spell check is not always their friend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting story. I love her descriptions and details about life in Mexico. I like how I was introduced to the seedy side of the city, and not the tourist destination that comes to mind when I think of Mexico. Interested in reading more of what this author has to offer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Jo Nesbo goes to Mexico
Brilliant portrayal of Mexican bureaucracy and the whole culture of distrust in offialdom that the drug wars in Mexico have created. Emilia Cruz is a junior detective trying to navigate through it all after being placed in an impossible situation. The whole thing is seen through Emilia's eyes, revealing her to be the sort of tough character who is going to take the reader through (hopefully) many more adventures. Like the best of Nesbo, it's a whodunit with multiple twists which keep the reader constantly on edge. The tempo never lets up and the quality of the writing is superb. When's the next Emilia Cruz mystery?
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Format: Kindle Edition
Emilia Cruz, detective in the Acapulco Police Department has guts! As the only female in the department, she suddenly becomes the lead in a murder investigation that encompasses gambling, drugs, sex and much more. The plot begins and moves quickly into action with a touch of romance, lots of intrigue and determination to solve the case. Both sides of Acapulco are presented, the beauty and the seedy, as a mixed bag of law enforcement strives for solutions and closure. I was given a complimentary copy of this book to write an unbiased review. I enjoyed every page!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Police corruption, kidnappings, funny money, and sex are staples of the mystery genre. This novel puts a fresh spin on the classic themes. Not only is it set in Mexico but it's about Mexicans (with a minimum of gringo side characters). It visits a spectrum of Acapulco ranging from the glamorous hotels to the barrios. Emelia Cruz is well formed protagonist - likeable but not without her vulnerabilities.

I can't recall a series set in Mexico. It seems long overdue. Some aspect of the story have an "only in Acapulco" aspect while others are universal.

I got this as a free read from Kindle. I'll be watching for the next book in the series and will pay for it (if necessary).
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Format: Paperback
Carmen Amato once again shows herself to be the master of her genre. CLIFF DIVER is a brilliant mystery adventure, one with plenty of twists and turns, juicy character interactions, and international locales. As someone semi-fluent in Spanish and a fan of classical Latino culture, I appreciate Amato's respectful handling of the chicano society as the backdrop of the book. Definitely the quintessential summer read!
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