Cactus Blood: A Gloria Damasco Mystery

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9781558855892: Cactus Blood: A Gloria Damasco Mystery
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Visions of striking rattlesnakes and a crucified woman haunt Gloria Damasco's dreams. Who is the naked woman she sees tied to a cactus cross? And who would do such a horrible thing?
Disturbing images and dreams continue to foreshadow the Chicana detective s cases as she begins her apprenticeship with Justin Escobar to qualify for her private-investigator's license.
Soon Gloria and Justin have another mystery on their hands: their long-time friend Sonny Mares is dead. The police say it was suicide. But clues at the scene of Sonny s death don't add up. Why was he watching a film about the 1973 United Farm Workers Strike and Grape Boycott just before his death? And why were there grapes in his refrigerator? Sonny had honored every grape boycott called for by Cesar Chavez.
The detectives quickly realize that Sonny is their third friend to disappear or die under mysterious circumstances. An incident involving the rape and pesticide poisoning of an undocumented Mexican girl 16 years ago may link the death and disappearance of their friends. Could it be that those who helped the girl then are now being stalked by a serial killer?
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Northern California, this is the second novel in the Gloria Damasco Mystery series. Hispanic cultural history and Chicano political issues texture this suspenseful search for a ritualistic assassin.

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About the Author:

LUCHA CORPI is a poet, novelist, and children's book author. She has written three other mystery novels featuring Gloria Damasco, the first Chicana detective in American literature: Death at Solstice (Arte Publico Press, 2009), Black Widow's Wardrobe (Arte Publico Press, 1999), and Eulogy for a Brown Angel (Arte Publico Press, 1992). Crimson Moon (Arte Publico Press, 2004) introduces Brown Angel Investigations and detective Dora Saldana. She was a tenured teacher in the Oakland Public Schools Neighborhood Centers Program for over 30 years.

From Publishers Weekly:

This second mystery from Corpi features Chicana detective Gloria Damasco, introduced in Eulogy for a Brown Angel, in a mildly suspenseful plot. Upon learning that Sonny Mares, an old friend and fellow activist in the United Farmworkers Strike and grape boycott of 1973, has committed suicide, Damasco is immediately suspicious-especially when she and a fellow investigator (also a former activist) go to Sonny's apartment and discover a videotape of a pesticide tank being blown up-and a bunch of grapes. Gloria, who struggles with the mixed blessing of being able to foresee the future, is also plagued by dreams of a young woman in trouble. As two other friends from the grape-boycott days disappear and a young woman who was raped and suffered pesticide poisoning resurfaces after many years, it becomes clear that a time of reckoning with the past is at hand. Corpi writes convincingly about Gloria's attempts to interpret her visions and does a fine job depicting decent people handling dangerous situations. But many moments of harking-back and a rash of coincidences slow the narrative.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9781558851344: Cactus Blood

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Publisher: Arte Publico Pr, 1995
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