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Winner of the Mariposa Award for Best First Novel
Phoenix detective Veranda Cruz is dead set on taking down the Villalobos crime family, but the ruthlessness of her quarry demands a ruthless edge of her own.No one in the department suspects the real motivation behind the obsession that pits her against Bartolo Villalobos, heir apparent to a powerful criminal empire...until an operation goes horribly wrong.
Targeted by an increasingly unstable foe, Veranda must protect her family and navigate adversaries within the force while she sets a trap for Bartolo. As the action heats up, Veranda and her new Homicide team—along with an arson investigator who kindles a flame of his own—are all drawn into a deadly gambit.
Taking down Bartolo is the ultimate goal, but is Veranda ready to trade her life for justice?
One of Book Riot's Best 25 Suspense Books of 2018
“Maldonado’s a writer to watch, and she showcases her own extensive law enforcement background in this tightly plotted police procedural.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Phoenix detective Veranda Cruz has vowed to bring the Villalobos crime family to justice, but when a wave of violence in the city escalates, she is forced to confront her darkest fear.
Adolfo Villalobos is a crime boss who's determined to stake his claim. To prove that he's ready to run his family's sprawling criminal empire, he devises a plan to silence his siblings and destroy Veranda, leaving a trail of destruction through downtown Phoenix that makes national headlines.
Veranda believes the task force she's been assigned to lead will end Adolfo's reign of terror, until his revenge takes a cruel-and highly personal-twist.The cunning scheme devastates Veranda, who struggles with secrets from her past that may end her career. And her life.
Beautiful, shrewd, and lethal, Daria Villalobos is on a mission. Determined to be the first woman to take the reins of her father's notorious organization, she hatches a plot to eliminate Veranda, framing a rival to take the fall.
Veranda Cruz is on a mission of her own. Intent on destroying the powerful Villalobos criminal empire, Veranda battles her department and her personal demons as she takes on Daria.
To survive the most cunning adversary she’s ever faced, will she make a pact with a killer?