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Mexico's Ayotzinapa disappearances solved in 43 MISSING mystery novel by Carmen Amato
Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series rekindles awareness of Mexico's most notorious crime
Emilia Cruz is the first and only female police detective in Acapulco. The police procedural series tracks her attempts to make a difference amid drug violence, organized crime, official corruption, and the culture of machismo. Throughout the series, Emilia's hunt for missing women acknowledges the thousands lost to Mexico's drug war. The series is authentic to the setting; according to 2017 homicide statistics, Acapulco is the most deadly city in Mexico.
In 43 MISSING, Emilia joins a national police task force to determine what happened to 43 students who disappeared from the fictional Mexican city of Amistad after being seized by local police. Findings of previous investigations are riddled with unanswered questions, duplicate confessions, and false conclusions. There is bureaucratic pressure not to dig deeper. The task force's suspicion initially falls on the town's mayor, but the case ultimately hinges on a jailed drug kingpin and the buses the students were in when seized.
Amato drew on a variety of investigative reports on the 2014 Ayotzinapa disappearances as the basis for 43 MISSING, as well as her own experiences in Mexico and Central America.
In a 2016 appearance on NPR's ALT.Latino program, Amato stated that "Emilia represents hope that there are good people fighting the law enforcement fight in Mexico and they will prevail . . . Readers will feel, once their heart rate goes back to normal, that things are going to get better."
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43 MISSING: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 6
288 pages • ISBN 978-0999712207 • Trade paperback: $12.99
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9853256-
Cover by Matt Chase