Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato – Review

Emilia Cruz Mysteries #1


Acapulco’s first female police detective dives into an ocean of secrets, lies, and murder when she investigates her own lieutenant’s death.

In this explosive start to the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco, Emilia beat the odds to become the resort city’s first female police detective. But she’s living in a pressure cooker. Other detectives are scheming to push her out and the police department is riddled with corruption and drug cartel influence.

When the lieutenant is murdered, Emilia is assigned to lead the investigation. Soon the man’s sordid sex life, money laundering, and involvement in a kidnapping double-cross combine to create an ugly mess no one wants exposed. The high profile murder case could wreck Emilia’s career. When another detective–Emilia’s worst enemy in the squadroom–emerges as the prime suspect, keeping her job might be the least of her worries.

Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato – Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato is a pacy, gripping police procedural set in Acapulco, Mexico, featuring a female detective, Emilia Cruz, as the protagonist.

As Acapulco’s first female detective, Emilia has to fight against patriarchy at every step. She is reminded at every turn that as a woman, she does not belong in the detective squad room.

The murder mystery was complex and hard to crack. I wasn’t able to guess the identity of the killer. So, kudos to Amato for crafting an intriguing whodunnit. A

Amato’s tale effortlessly plunged me into the dangerous underbelly of Acapulco where corrupt policemen were hands in glove with the drug cartel. You never knew whom to trust. Amidst this menacing situation, Emilia was assigned the unenviable task of finding out who killed el Teniente (lieutenant). She doggedly pursued the investigation despite reluctance from the other detectives. But she eventually convinced them to support her.

Amato seamlessly weaved romance into the tale as well. During the investigation, Emilia fell in love with a rich gringo (a non-Hispanic American) named Kurt. Amato laid bare Emilia’s insecurities. I could relate to her lack of confidence in leading an all-male detective team. She was also doubtful of Kurt’s love for her since she belonged to a poor family. However, the way she overcame her self-doubt in both spheres was admirable.

I loved reading the Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato and would recommend it to lovers of international crime fiction. I am off to devouring the next books in this series. I recommend you do the same!

Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato book cover
Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato


Genre: Mystery || Pages: 300 || Published on January 27, 2013


Carmen Amato author pic
Carmen Amato

Following a 30 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, Carmen Amato writes mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Emilia is the first female police detective in Acapulco, confronting Mexico’s cartels, corruption and social inequalities. The series recently won the Poison Cup award for Outstanding Series from Crime Masters of America and was optioned for television.

Originally from upstate New York, Carmen’s experiences in Mexico and Central America launched her fiction career. Carmen is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal.

Author Link(s): Website

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Author: debjani6ghosh

I started this blog to discuss books that I read and movies that I watch. But the blog may not be purely restricted to that!

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