Book Review: KING PESO by Carmen Amato

Grab a margarita and come on down to Acapulco . . . If you can take the heat.

61kk2ia9i2lKING PESO, the latest Emilia Cruz mystery from author Carmen Amato, is a smart, fast police procedural with a spicy local flair.

Detective Cruz breaks all the rules: she’s a strong woman in a man’s world, has a handsome gringo boyfriend, and a way of poking her nose in places that her superiors would rather not have examined. In this fourth installment of the series, Emilia is hoping to crack the infamous El Trio murders, a series of related killings of high-ranking police officers, but flamboyant Mayor Carlota has other ideas. Carlota wants Emilia to form an all-female squad of police officers to demonstrate to tourists how safe Acapulco really is. In the midst of all this, Emilia’s partner’s wife is murdered in cold blood—an extension of the El Trio murders? Cruz finds that inquiring minds are not welcome here.

Buy KING PESO from Amazon

While Amato’s stories of Cruz and her adventures are wonderful, what really makes these novels pop is the setting. This is not some watered down version of a nameless Mexican resort town, this is the gritty side of Acapulco from someone who has walked the streets and talked with the residents. In the world of Cruz, the city is a character, one Emilia dances with every day, one she alternately loves and hates and will never leave—no matter how much she wants to. For all its color and its crime, all its joy and its poverty, Cruz is Acapulco and Acapulco is Cruz, imperfections and all.

If you’re tired of the same old “cop catches bad guy” novel, Emilia Cruz offers an exciting twist on a familiar story line. Well worth your time.

David Bruns & JR Olson, AKA the Two Navy Guys, are proud Minnesotans, US Navy veterans and co-authors of “ripped from the headlines” thrillers about current events, like Weapons of Mass Deception.  Join the Two Navy Guys Readers Group and get a free copy of Death of a Pawn, an international murder mystery.


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