Hat Dance by Carmen Amato

Hat Dance by Carmen Amato Purchase:

    From bombs to Botox, this novel has it all.

    EMILIA CRUZ, Acapulco’s first and only female police detective, will risk a dance with the devil to catch an arsonist and find a missing girl. But the music comes with a price no honest cop can afford to pay.

    By coincidence at the same restaurant as Acapulco’s popular mayor, Emilia’s date with hotel manager Kurt Rucker is cut short by an explosive fire that kills half of the mayor’s security detail. Emilia is assigned to investigate what quickly is dubbed an assassination attempt on the politician.

    Frightened by the fire and the raw emotion it has sparked not only inside herself but across the city, Emilia isn’t helped by a boss who is more concerned with his own demons than hers, and a new partner who comes with a bad attitude. Moreover, Kurt Rucker could leave Acapulco for a lucrative new job in Belize.

    When the involvement of the Mexican Army seems likely and would-be vigilantes post threatening videos on YouTube, Acapulco erupts with a wave of violent demonstrations. But even as pressure mounts for a fast arrest, Emilia remains bound by a promise to look for a girl who has disappeared from her own neighborhood. It doesn’t take long before Emilia uncovers some nasty family secrets and turns to the city’s most notorious hooker for answers, only to end up on the wrong side of a dirty Vice cop.

    About Carmen Amato:

    Carmen-Amato1International mystery author Carmen Amato combines complex plots with characters and settings drawn from her experiences living in Mexico and Central America. If you like Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, Leighton Gage, and Donna Leon, you’ll love Carmen Amato.

    Carmen was born in New York and educated there as well as Virginia and Paris, France. Her family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, her great-grandfather, eluded a state-wide manhunt after killing two people-one of whom was his wife-and was never brought to justice.

    Carmen currently divides her time between the United States and Central America. Visit her website at carmenamato.net and connect with her at www.facebook.com/authorcarmenamato and on Twitter @CarmenConnects. Her boards illustrate her books at www.pinterest.com/CarmenConnects.

    Review by Grady Harp: Carmen Amato is that kind of writer that would be a terrific coffee partner in a sidewalk café, discussing world events and hearing how she can make even the most mundane of events electric. She has style, she’s smart, and she can weave a hell of a story. HAT DANCE is the second installment in her series The Emilia Cruz mysteries, and reading one will likely turn the reader to add the others of the collection to the self. From her own words found on her website she states, `I’m originally from New York but love to travel. My family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, my great-grandfather, eluded a statewide manhunt after killing two people-one of whom was his wife-and was never brought to justice. When I’m not writing, drinking coffee, or otherwise getting into trouble as a mystery author, I am a reluctantly recovering Furla handbag addict. I was educated in New York as well as Paris, France, and Virginia. I married the smartest man I could find and together we’ve lived in some unexpected places. Mexico and Central America provided the impetus for my writing career. I don’t flinch from issues like corruption, cartels, and the region’s social inequalities. I write about risk, power, and corruption. Don’t read my books unless you like exotic locations, relationships with heat, and action torn from today’s headlines.’

    Jumping into HAT DANCE without the luxury of having read her first Emma Cruz mystery may seem like missing some needed information, but by the time the reader finishes the first chapter the speed of the adventure takes off on a solo flight and no background other than what has been provided is necessary. And as condensed on her site the story proceeds as follows: `Detective Emilia Cruz (Acapulco’s first and only female police detective) will risk a dance with the devil to catch a violent arsonist and find a missing girl from her own neighborhood. But when the music stops, the consequences could be fatal. Together with hotel manager Kurt Rucker, Emilia survives a deadly arson attack. When the fire is labeled an assassination attempt against Acapulco’s popular mayor, Emilia’s investigation is turned into a political maneuver against both the local army presence and an old political rival. Meanwhile, disturbed by what she finds out about the missing girl, whose dark family secrets may be the key to her disappearance, Emilia soon finds herself on the wrong side of a shady Vice cop and walking dark streets in search of answers. Haunted by her fear of the fire and dismayed by Kurt’s consideration of a new job in Belize, Emilia’s professional skills and personal life start to unravel. She’s got information to trade, however, and making deals might be a way to survive both investigations. But every honest cop knows you don’t deal with the devil . . . and survive.’

    For pure entertainment and a gripping story likely resulting is nail biting, read Carmen Amato’s addictive prose. She knows this territory like a jaguar