Review: “Hat Dance”

Cover of "Hat Dance: An Emilia Cruz Novel"Emilia Cruz Encino, Acapulco’s first, and so far only, female police detective, continues to struggle with corruption, institutional misogyny, class conflict, a slightly crazy mother, and the difficulties of an inter-racial relationship while attempting to stop a series of fire-bombings targeting high-end restaurants and nightclubs around the bay, without access to the technology that has dominated U.S.– based police procedurals for years. The unusual (to those in the U.S.) setting with all its unfamiliar complications and the archaic police work make for a fresh, character-driven approach to crime writing.

This is the second in the series (“Cliff Diver” is the first), and in both the author has mostly avoid genre tropes and stereotypes, though the series contains elements of both romance and mystery. Mostly, she just tells about interesting characters striving to improve their lives in the difficult environment of modern-day Acapulco, rendering a story far richer than the thriller-factories of the big publishing houses.

If she continues writing this series, I’ll keep reading it.

This review was also posted to LibraryThing.

Hat Dance (An Emilia Cruz Novel) by
KDP Select
268 pages
(4 / 5 stars)
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