The Detective: Meet the Characters from Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato

Can Emilia beat the odds to become the resort city’s first female police detective, living  in a pressure cooker of danger and distrust.

In CLIFF DIVER, the first Detective Emilia Cruz mystery, Acapulco detectives Emilia Cruz and Franco Silvio are enemies who nonetheless must work together to solve the murder of their lieutenant

The most senior detective, Silvio doesn’t want a woman in the squad room.

Here’s a key scene from the book, re-written from his point of view.

Carmen Amato

As Silvio drove back to the police station, his thoughts punched and jabbed at random theories like a boxer in a ring with a ghost. Whoever bludgeoned Lieutenant Inocente to death, then sent the body out to sea in the man’s own speedboat, was a more elusive opponent than anyone Silvio ever faced during his championship years.

Next to him in the front passenger seat, Fuentes kept his mouth shut, the smartest thing he’d done all day. Silvio’s young partner hadn’t exactly covered himself with glory in the abandoned water bottling plant.

This late in the day, traffic on la Costera was a mess. Tour buses and hotel vans lumbered along in the fast lane, spewing fumes and garish advertisements to See Acapulco by Night or rent fleabag surf shacks along the coast at Punta el Pesquero. Silvio swore as he rode the brake, unable to get around them.

Neither Cruz nor Portillo in the back seat said a word. At one point Silvio glanced in the rearview mirror. Both were mindlessly staring outside. Yet as if she was telepathic, Cruz glanced up and saw him watching her.

Silvio hastily focused on the slow-moving traffic again.

Cruz made him uneasy. Too smart. Too curious.

Too pretty. When Portillo took her on as partner, everybody assumed he was doing her. Portillo once said that sex with Cruz would be like wrestling a bag of cats and he’d prefer not to bleed to death, but the rumors only grew, linking her with every man who passed through the squadroom.

By the time they got back to the police station, the sun was a ball of fire sinking behind the stucco walls of the building and twilight was spreading a purple haze over the parking lot. Silvio lifted his hand to the guard at the entry gate, drove through when the barrier lifted and swerved into his assigned spot.

Portillo and Fuentes bailed out.

In the rearview, Silvio saw Cruz gather up her shoulder bag preparatory to opening her door and impulsively decided to make his play.

A moment later, he was crowding her in the backseat. Fob in hand, he locked the car doors with a beep. “We need to talk,” he said. “Why did you go to my house?”

Please click HERE to find Cliff Diver on Amazon.


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