Cactus Blood by Lucha Corpi
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.