I’m an avid crime fiction reader. Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, Donna Leon, I love them all. Now, let me introduce you to my new fave—the exciting author Carmen Amato. Her novel Cliff Diver, set in beautiful and dangerous Acapulco, is a page- turner I couldn’t put down. By the time I neared the end of the book, I rationed out chapters just to keep the experience going.
In Cliff Diver, Acapulco’s lone female police detective Emilia Cruz—a smart, wisecracking, badass protagonist you’re going to love— has to solve a grisly crime in a city so infiltrated with the drug cartel and political corruption that anyone, including the police, could have committed the deed. It doesn’t help that someone on the police force may be out to get her or that she’s falling hard for a gringo resort owner whose tropical paradise world is far different, but no less dangerous, than her own.
I love this image of Acapulco at night. It’s the perfect “noir” setting don’t you think?
Detective Emilia Cruz is a new and compelling voice in crime fiction. Her turf is as seedy and evocative as Raymond Chandler’s LA, and in spite of all the gory headlines about the beach resort, it still retains its Rat Pack glamour from back in the day when it was the playground for the likes of Sinatra et al. Check out this photo of Liz Taylor and Mike Todd who married in Acapulco in 1957. You’ll want to grab a Cuba Libre, put “Old Blue Eyes” (or maybe Pedro Infante) on the CD and sink into your sofa for a little armchair travel combined with a heart-pounding plot.
You’ll be rooting for Emilia Cruz and for the good citizens of Acapulco all the way to this novel’s stunning end.