In HAT DANCE, the second Emilia Cruz novel, Emilia will track who has gone missing from her own neighborhood and her efforts to find missing women will remain a series theme. She'll comb through the newspaper advertisements I saw too often in Mexico; … see full wiki
It's always a treat to come upon a new writer in the detective field, one who introduces a main character who is quite different from the usual type we read about. This new detective is the only female detective on the Acapulco police force, trying to succeed in a world normally dominated by men.
The Acapulco about which we read is not the pleasant, sunny, touristy section with all of the grand hotels and expensive restaurants. It is, rather, the Acapulco of the mean streets, with prostitutes and pimps, venal cops and suspicious military types. The city also has a glamorous female mayor who is more concerned with her own public profile than with anything else happening around her, even the deaths of innocent people.
The plot concerns bombings and deaths at several Acapulco restaurants, bombings the mayor's entourage would have the people believe were aimed solely at her, and may have been instigated by the army. Newspaper coverage goes wild, and large, boisterous crowds appear and give menacing gestures about the army. Meanwhile, our protagonist and her erstwhile partner, come to the conclusion that the bombings weren't aimed at the mayor at all, but were "messages" to pay up to a group of men who claim the money is for an "army tax".
A subplot concerns the defective's search for a missing teenage girl, because her parish priest has asked her to look into it for the sake of the girl's grandmother. That search takes the detective to some very seedy places, and she meets with several grotesque people.
The action is swift, and the plot moves along at a steady pace, keeping the reader interested in discovering what is going to happen. The ending is quite violent, and more deaths result before a solution is found.
I hope that the author gives us more novels about this intrepid detective.
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