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Cactus blood : a mystery novel by Lucha…

Cactus blood : a mystery novel (edition 1995)

by Lucha Corpi

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Title:Cactus blood : a mystery novel
Authors:Lucha Corpi
Info:Houston, Tex. : Arte Público Press, 1995.
Collections:Your library
Tags:read 2012, mystery, Oakland CA, northern CA, chromatic character, chromatic author

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Cactus Blood by Lucha Corpi



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From the book jacket: Gloria Damasco, the Chicana detective tempered during the civil rights movement, is involved in solving another mystery complete with gruesome murders. Is it a serial killer that is leaving the corpses strewn with artifacts from Native American rituals? Does it have something to do with the farm workers’ union which the victims had worked for in the seventies?

My reactions
There’s just so much going on here that I don’t know where to begin.

First we have all of Gloria’s vivid and violent dreams … a woman crucified on a cactus, being cornered by a large rattlesnake, blood dripping everywhere. Supposedly Gloria has a gift for premonition, but will all her dreams come to life literally? Or are they more allegorical, portending danger, if not actual crucifixion.

Then we have all the political, social justice issues these characters face and faced. Reminders of the struggles for the farm workers in the ‘70s, with grape boycotts, marches, and violent altercations. And the issues of undocumented workers and their constant fear of reprisal.

Ultimately, though, I found these characters too stupid to live. Attacked in her own home, Gloria says, “No don’t call the police.” Instead she goes off in the dark to chase this provenly violent assailant, and potential killer. S*I*G*H.

Maybe my problem is that I never read the first book in the series, so don’t know enough of the back story, but I never connected with Gloria or Justin, and really didn’t care what happened to any of them. I thought the plot was far too convoluted and the resolution was weak and unbelievable. If it weren’t a book-club selection, I would have abandoned it. ( )
  BookConcierge | Aug 30, 2018 |
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In California, Chicana detective Gloria Damasco investigates the death of a strike leader who was involved in a grape boycott. Officially the death was suicide, but Damasco thinks murder more likely. By the author of Eulogy for a Brown Angel.

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