Pacific Reaper

Detective Emilia Cruz Book 5

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
338 Pages
Reviewed on 01/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

In Pacific Reaper: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 5 by Carmen Amato, the dead body of a gang member is discovered inside a tent in the remote Coyuca Lagoon reserve. It’s a ritualistic murder, a sacrifice to Santa Muerte, Mexico’s forbidden saint of death. The case instantly proves difficult for Emilia and her partner, Silvio, when their tech refuses to process the crime scene and their only suspect suddenly dies while in custody. Then mutilated bodies hanging from billboards start to appear. Emilia’s skills and resoluteness as a detective will be tested as she and her partner continue to dig further into the case. When the people closest to her get hurt, Emilia starts to wonder if the supernatural is in the works.

From the beginning, it’s clear that Pacific Reaper is a standalone book, even though it’s the fifth instalment of the Detective Emilia Cruz series. The plot is well-structured, but pulls no punches and sometimes is not an easy read-gruesome murders, drugs, gang wars, and corruption among others. The suspense builds gradually, which serves the plot well when all the dots get connected, one by one. Some parts of the narrative are slightly lengthy with details, but overall the pace of the plot and the storytelling is good. The lead characters made an impression on me, particularly Emilia. It’s easy to root for her as she has to balance her family, her love life, and her work that comes with difficult colleagues and even difficult tasks. All in all, Pacific Reaper is a good read and another solid instalment from Amato for fans of the series.

Jim Nesbitt, author of the Ed Earl Burch

“Carmen Amato has created a compelling, complex, well-rounded and durable character . . . PACIFIC REAPER is a great read -- and a great reason to pick up the other books in Amato’s Emilia Cruz series.” – Jim Nesbitt, author of the Ed Earl Burch detective series

Toni Osborne

In “Pacific Reaper”, Emilia confronts a death worshiping cult and takes us once again inside Mexico’s drug war. The setting is Acapulco, a breathtaking and deadly city where Mexican cartels battles for control and more politicians that you can imagine are in the drug lord’s pockets.

Murder victims are sacrificed to Santo Muerte. Looking into gruesome and ritualistic murders Emilia takes us to another level of suspense. This character-driven mystery is hard to put down. The author has raised the stakes for her protagonist by forcing her to face vicious members of the cartel while appeasing her superiors and politician and making peace with her colleagues (Emilia’s continual battle). As the investigation progresses and more clues fall into place, more blood is shed and more is revealed. The novel pulls no punches.

This crackling multi-faceted story is well-written, is most captivating, one that keeps a steady pace and holds the attention from the get-go. We also have new revelations about the main character, her family and the people she associates with, adding a nice personal touch. I can well imagine this scenario happening in the real world this is both scary and fascinating at the same time…..You have done it again Ms. Amato providing your readers with hours of entertainment.

Vee James

In the spectacular fifth installment of her Detective Emilia Cruz series, Carmen Amato has once again raised the stakes for her gutsy heroine. Emilia is forced not only to face a vicious gang war, the kidnapping on her turf of the son of an influential political leader, and a series of hair-raising cult murders, but also her mother’s precipitous slide toward a break with reality. Emilia’s world teeters on the edge of destruction.
Telling the steadily deepening story of Emilia’s investigation into a gruesome, ritualistic murder, Amato raises the level of suspense at each turn. For every clue that falls into place, the price is paid in danger and blood. Enemies maneuver all around the first female detective in Acapulco, both in the dark world of criminals and murderers, and within the force sworn to serve and protect. Those daring to openly act as Emilia’s allies soon find themselves threatened or worse.
As the story reaches its peak, Emilia must risk everything to expose a singularly brutal evil, one that works as much against the minds of its victims as it does their physical safety. In the end, for Emilia, there is victory and loss in nearly equal measure.
Amato’s Detective Emilia Cruz series can be seen as a continuous, tightly-woven tale, from her origin story, “The Beast”, wherein Emilia gets her break into being a detective, through “Cliff Diver”, “Hat Dance”, “Diablo Nights”, and “King Peso”, the relationships evolve and Emilia grows in confidence. Most significantly, she slowly earns the grudging professional and personal respect of the male detectives around her.