Cactus Blood: A Mystery Novel

Lucha Corpi, Author Arte Publico Press $18.95 (249p) ISBN 978-1-55885-134-4
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. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 249 pages - 978-1-55885-589-2
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