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Made in Acapulco: The Emilia Cruz Stories (Detective Emilia Cruz Book 0) Kindle Edition
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From the Author
Detective Emilia Cruz is a good liar, a fast thinker, a determined investigator and a mean kickboxer. An Acapulco native forced to grow up too fast, she's been a cop for nearly 12 years and a detective for two; a strong woman in a squadroom that didn't want her and is still trying to break her. But Emilia isn't afraid to defend herself and get what she's rightfully earned. But she doesn't know how to handle gringo Kurt Rucker, the manager of a luxury hotel in Acapulco. A former U.S. Marine, he has the confidence and leadership qualities she admires. A triathlete, he's calm under pressure and knows what he wants. But does Emilia?
THE TWO FACES OF ACAPULCO
There's the Acapulco that tourists know; luxury hi-rises, candlelit nights on the beach, the sweep of the most beautiful bay in the world, the majesty of the clear blue Pacific. There's also the Acapulco that is a prize to be fought over by drug cartels--the city that is home to hookers and thieves, the streets where life is cheap and poverty is as pervasive as the wind off the ocean. Both of these versions of Acapulco claw at each other and force Emilia to survive between them. No investigation will be easy, no crime will be simple.
Grab a margarita and come on down to Acapulco . . . If you can take the heat.
MADE IN ACAPULCO also contains the first two chapters of Carmen Amato's political thriller THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF 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 Mexico's Minister for Public Security and the country's most elusive drug cartel leader. As presidential elections near, Eddo's investigation will uncover a political double-cross fueled by drug money. He'll follow the money trail deep into the underbelly 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.
Note: This is the second edition of MADE IN ACAPULCO and contains additional original content. The 2012 edition is no longer in print. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
She's also the first female police detective in Acapulco.
The MADE IN ACAPULCO short stories form the prequel to the sensational Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in the iconic yet troubled Pacific coast city. The stories trace Emilia's unlikely rise from beat cop to detective, the event which triggered her hunt for Acapulco's missing women, and introduces hotel manager Kurt Rucker, the gringo she falls for.
Under the Mexican sun, no crime is simple and no investigation is easy. In the face of drug cartel violence, rampant official corruption, and threats from fellow detectives, Emilia fights for her humanity and faith in Mexico's future.
Mystery fiction's newest crimefighter is a woman you won't soon forget.
PRAISE FOR THE EMILIA CRUZ SERIES
- ASIN : B00GANWA9A
- Publisher : Laurel & Croton (October 29, 2013)
- Publication date : October 29, 2013
- Language: : English
- File size : 3341 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 88 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,787 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Emilia Cruz is the first female detective in the Acapulco Police Department. The stories in “Made in Acapulco” serve as a prequel to the Cruz novels. In these stories, Cruz receives an education in the inner workings of the Department. It’s not a pleasant experience. The Department is filled with overt sexism, graft, and self-dealing. The city that the Department oversees is even worse. Drug cartels and street gangs operate brazenly, often either intimidating or paying off the police. Emilia soon finds that her detective skills and training mean little here. Instead, she gradually learns how to work within the system.
Many crime story fans are accustomed to TV shows set in the United States, where complex crimes are solved, and the criminals brought to justice in a one-hour timeframe. The stories in “Made in Acapulco” are quite different. Cruz and her fellow detectives never solve the crimes or make an arrest in several of these tales. But these stories are just as much procedurals as their television counterparts. Instead of gathering forensic evidence and interviewing witnesses, Cruz and the other detectives walk a tightrope of written and unwritten rules, payoffs, and corruption. Worst of all, Cruz has to battle sexism and harassment nearly every day.
My favorite story in the collection is “The Date.” Cruz, whose social life hasn’t been the greatest since she made detective, finally agrees to go out with another cop. The date proves disastrous when armed gunmen shoot up the disco where the couple went. Although Cruz brings down one gunman while her date watches, he turns the incident into a nice promotion for himself, thanks to some skillful after-the-fact maneuvering. Cruz learns a lesson in what constitutes effective police work in Acapulco.
One thing that readers won’t get from the stories in “Made in Acapulco” is a travel guide to the city. Various scenes occur in named locations, and some of these locales may well be scenic landmarks or tourist stops. But author Amato doesn’t offer the sort of detail that occasionally appears in stories set in exotic destinations. She is interested in telling a story, not promoting local tourism. In fact, I would definitely avoid a couple of locations, like the disco in the aforementioned story, on any visit to Acapulco.
Reader reactions to the stories in “Made in Acapulco” will be more of a case of YMMV than most. Those expecting shrewd detective work, detailed investigative techniques, or even a sense of justice prevailing may be disappointed. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing an unflattering but realistic look at police work in a foreign land. This isn’t a warts-and-all portrayal; instead, it’s warts-and-warts. Through it all, the character of Emilia Cruz emerges, occasionally bloodied, often frustrated, but learning and improving. As an introduction to the Cruz novels, “Made in Acapulco” is quite successful. I don’t intend to say adios to this character.
On the other hand, the stories give a realistic picture of crime in Mexico – the drug cartel hits, the kidnappings, the proliferation of dirty cops. One story describes actual rallies held in Mexico against drug war violence. Another is inspired by a shootout that took place in a Mexican bar.
Emilia Cruz Encinos is a fun heroine who can beat up men, shoot straight under pressure, survive a car chase, and deal well with the unspeakable machismo and misogyny in the Mexican police force.
Still, this is probably not the right book to start with if you're considering reading the Emilia Cruz series. The novels promise to be excellent (reviewers like them), but I didn't think much of these stories. They’re not at all polished. Since Emilia Cruz is so appealing, though, I'll probably try one of the novels. Wish I'd started out there.
As an editor, I particularly appreciate the fact that Amato's work is free of the annoying typos, grammatical errors and continuity glitches that mar so many books these days.
The only down side: I've now read all five of her books and must wait for a new one.
Top reviews from other countries
This is an excellent introduction to Carmen Amato's books and I will definitely be looking out for more.
The scenery descriptions are beautiful as is Acapulco, makes me sad of the political happenings that changed the landscape from the fun, safe party vacation town to a dangerous place for tourists. Amato keeps the stories interesting with pace and action, and rich and authentic descriptions of locations and real events.
These short stories kept me glued with wondering – how do you know if you can trust your own colleagues? I am looking forward to reading more in this series as two of Amato’s books already await me.
“Made in Acapulco” is a collection of five short stories that introduce the reader to Detective Cruz, her workplace and co-workers, as well as to her love interest.
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 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.