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The Hidden Light of Mexico City [Kindle Edition]

Carmen Amato
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

With political suspense, passion for the place, and brutal truth pulled from today’s headlines, this political thriller illuminates the fight for Mexico’s future from a new Hispanic fiction author.

Mexico 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.

As 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.

Luz 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.

Cartels and corruption need the dark. Who will have the courage to shine a light?

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

We lived in Mexico City, an American family embracing a new culture, exploring a vibrant city, and meeting people who were to impact our lives for years to come.
Our house was at the start of the school bus route going home. My children had a 10 minute ride. Her name was Marit and her children rode the same school bus as my children.
We met at the end of the school day when her chauffer-driven car parked in front of the house as I waited by the gate for the bus to drop off the kids. Marit got out, wearing a stylish dress, heels and ropes of gold chain, and introduced herself. They lived at the end of the bus line, she explained, and while she wanted her son and daughter to have the experience of riding on a school bus, it took too long. In future her children would get off at our house and be driven home by the chauffeur.
We spoke a number of times after that, me in my jeans on the stoop and she in her designer clothes from the window of the car. When she learned I was new to Mexico City she took it upon herself to give me a tour of the best shops and restaurants in our neighborhood. The children and I were invited to a midday meal with her husband and children. The event included a tour of their house-about 15 minutes away-and a stop in the kitchen to view the 5 uniformed staff and present my compliments to the cook in her white jacket.
Soon after, Marit came over for coffee before meeting the bus. Our housekeeper, a wonderful young woman whom we did not require to wear a uniform, met us in the living room. I introduced them as I would any two people, using full names. To my surprise Marit immediately addressed the housekeeper using a common nickname rather than the housekeeper's actual name. The grilling about work hours came next. It was an effective and not very subtle message: the housekeeper was getting above herself using her full name, not wearing a uniform, and leaving the kitchen instead of waiting to be assigned her work.
Marit also called me the next day and took me to task for not making the housekeeper work more hours-a day maid should show up to work at 7:00 am at least. By asking the housekeeper to come at 10:00 I was only encouraging her to become lazy. I should note here that my husband generally referred to the housekeeper as the "Mexican Tornado" for her amazing work ethic.
There were no more coffee or lunches after that but the final break came when Marit called to ask if, as an American, I could get her maid a visa. The family wanted to go to Disneyworld and take their maid to look after the children in the evenings. The visa process took alot of time, Marit said. If the maid had to stand in line at the US Embassy she'd miss work.
I replied that I had no ability to obtain a visa for her maid and I never heard from Marit again. The car no longer stopped in front of my house to pick up her children.
Mexico City was home to many other women like her. In an odd way they inspired me to write a book to explain what I saw. There's a caste system in Mexico that bottles up more people than just the Mexican Tornado. So escape it, people will mule drugs or risk an illegal crossing into the United States. Or both.
I hope you enjoy The Hidden Light of Mexico City. And I hope it makes you think a little, too.

From the Inside Flap

Mexico is a country of contrasts-ruthless drug cartels and devout Catholics, beautiful homes and shantytowns, some of the richest in the world living next to 50% of the country below the poverty line-and that's Mexico's definition of poverty. The Hidden Light of Mexico City is a political thriller but it is also story of bridging some of those gaps.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1365 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007S1LGUC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,662 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H May 19, 2012
By Kelly N
Format:Kindle Edition
I highly recommend this excellent book by Carmen Amato. It's a perfect blend of action, suspense and romance. The action keeps you turning the pages as the author portrays the gritty reality of the city. Amato captures the complexity of life in one of the world's largest cities, expertly depicting the sleazy politicians, the drug lords, their violent lieutenants and the common Mexicans who are victimized by them. Her characters are sharply drawn and totally believable. This is a great book from a new author with great promise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful fiction, a sort of Cinderella story in disguise. Through her words Ms. Amato rich narrative draws a picture of the Mexico's society and how its Caste System has had an impact on every aspect of life. The story illustrates how this inequality has given strength to the drug cartels, fosters a culture of corruption and made people take risk to escape to the United States.

The main players are Luz de Maria Alba Mora, a poor house maid sometime artist, and Eduardo "Eddo" Cortez Castillo, a rich Mexico City attorney. Opposite as can be on the echelon of society, Maria and Eddo unexpected and vulnerable relationship can only be a liability for a high profile attorney. It soon comes to the forefront when Eddo investigates links between the Minister for Public Security and one of the most elusive drug cartel leaders and definitely not a good time to uncover a political double-cross fueled by drug money.

This story is a mixed of fairy tale romance between Maria and Eddo and high suspense when Eddo follows the money trail deep into the underworld of Mexico's drug culture. We have many exciting chases and some violent scenes in alternate chapters but we also have many tender moments. This is definitely a character and dialogue driven thriller.

"The Hidden Light of Mexico City" is a quality novel written with passion, has a polish prose, a beautiful style, great characterization and above all an excellent and creative plot that sounds authentic. I must admit being hooked from the start and engaged till the very end. Well done Ms. Amato can't wait to read the "Cliff-Diver"..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A believable story of life in the big City October 9, 2012
By TimZ
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Carmen Amato captures the reality of life living in Mexico City, the political struggles, the corruption and how it affects life for the common person. It shows how those who actually want to make a change for the betterment of life often pay with their own. There is no limit to the extent people with power will go to make things happen to get what they want. It's a great mix of love, suspense, action, wealth, poverty all based on reality. It's fast moving and never boring; one page makes you want to continue to the next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Day of the Dead July 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Luz de Maria is going nowhere.

Three, short chapters into author Carmen Amato's gutty telenovela, her weary heroine leans against a bus window and stares out at Mexico City, a rundown, smog-choked metropolis of 28 million struggling souls.

"The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn't concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it."

Everyone is on the take. The police and government are corrupt; drug cartels battle and behead their rivals; the rich live behind 20-foot high walls topped with rolled barbed wire and security cameras; private police in bulletproof vests guard upscale malls while the pampered teens of the upper crust shop for their Prada totes and Hermes scarves ; drug money and dollars sent home from family members working legally and illegally in "El Norte" account for half the national income - and unmarried, 29-year old Luz de Maria Alba Mora, scraping by as a housemaid on $500 a month while struggling to support her brother and pregnant, unmarried sister, dreams of escaping the barrio for New York to become an artist.

You're hooked.

Amato nails the gritty setting, the tug of a dream, and Luz's despair at her dead-end job just before aristocratic, handsome Eduardo Cortez Castillo accidentally bumps into her and her sketchpad in Chapultepec Park, where both have gravitated to in their loneliness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Ever Written 2: Electric Boogaloo April 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Man, this book was seriously so great, I mean like damn you know? You know. Or maybe you don't, because you didn't read it, which I can only interpret as a massive personal flaw. Someone's going to come up to you at a party and be all "Hey Wilfredo, you read that sick new Romurdermystery that Carmen Amato wrote, like seriously that booked changed my life. It really changed it." and you're going to be all slack-jawed and awkward, because you didn't read it, and now people at the party are looking weirdly at you. Maybe that one girl/guy you've been keeping an eye on (you know who I'm talking about) is looking at you. But you don't like it, because you make eye contact with them and all you see is disdain and a little bit of hate, and before you know it a mob led by your former-potential-love interest has mobilized and hurled you out of the front door, and all your best friends delete your contact information from your phones and tell you not to talk to them anymore.

Don't let this happen to you, buy this rad book, which I have given "5 successful party conversations" out of 5
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I very much enjoyed this book
I very much enjoyed this book. It runs from intense contemporary urban thriller -- power, politics, corruption and social chaos of contemporary Mexican society and government; to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cary Hoover
5.0 out of 5 stars An incisive look into society and corruption in Mexico City
Like the name play in the title. The main female protagonist is named Luz de Maria—Light of Mary—and as the book unfolds, Luz indeed becomes the hidden light of this city. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Penelope James
4.0 out of 5 stars Carmen Amato has a new fan and follower--ME!
The author had me from the first page, like a fish nibbling an enticing bait and becoming caught on the hook that would not let go. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miguel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome. This tells more than a story. It is beautiful.
Published 8 months ago by rexo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Light Is Carmen Amato
I loved this book. “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... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mike D. Landfair
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy fun read
I found this book very fun to read. It's a romance novel maybe written for a female audience but the story is very good and one gets a feel for what it is like to live in Mexico.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cinderalla love story and a fast-paced thriller about corruption and...
This is a mixed genre novel that reads as both a real-life thriller and a fairy tale romance. Carmen Amato pulls it off exceptionally well by making us care deeply for the two main... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars New venue for me
This was a good book, though perhaps went on longer than it had to. I enjoyed learning more about Mexico City and it's culture.
Published 23 months ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Light of Mexico City
Exciting! Romantic! Provides more than a wonderful reading experience! Carmen Amato points out, without a doubt, how important it is for all Mexican citizens to be less aware of... Read more
Published on May 6, 2013 by C. Alexander Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Mexican Culture
This is the novel that hooked me on mystery writer, Carmen Amato. She has such a deep understanding of the corruption of another government. Read more
Published on March 20, 2013 by barbara rhodes
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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

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!"

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