The Water of Life Remains in the Dead

Herbert Siguenza

Playwright, actor and co-founder of Culture Clash

Water of Life mysteriously flows like the ancient LA River which still runs under Olvera Street, the original pueblo of Los Angeles. Water is life and has no borders, penetrating our bones and teeth to give us clues on where we were born and where we ended our path. But as Maria Nieto writes, "But Life is never a clearly defined path. Five dead bodies in the back of a pick up truck, a cardinal with interests beyond the church, a real estate developer with ties to the Archdiocese, a possible metaphor with no known meaning, all proof that nothing was clear." This is not your daddy's LA Noir. Nieto is a new refreshing voice in this predominantly Anglo male genre. Her heroine is a feisty Chicana LA Times reporter that loves her Revlon lipstick, finds solace in her blue VW bug named Azulita, and is not afraid to confront the big boys that run the City of Angels like their own private palm laden country club. Nieto uses history, culture, science, and sharp female intuition with dark humor to tell her story that will keep you guessing and smiling.

Corina Martinez Chaudhry

CEO, The Latino Author

Alejandra Marisol has it all, or does she? She works as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and has been assigned to cover the story of five murdered bodies found in a truck. The homicide investigator is sure the responsible person(s) is Detective Ashworth and his Los Angeles Police Department accomplices involved in two previous murders, but Alejandra isn’t so sure. The twists and turns of solving this murder are unrelenting and take Ms. Marisol on a ride of her life. The author, Maria Nieto, has managed to take the reader into an underground movement that is ugly, and at the same time provides remarkable insight into how the forensic experts work at their craft to capture the guilty. Her talent is right up there with some great suspense writers – no doubt about it!

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Armando Rendón

Editor/founder of The Latino Literary Online Magazine, Somos en escrito, and author of Chicano Manifesto and The Adventures of Noldo and His Magical Scooter.

Maria Nieto has created a proto-Chicana crime reporter/solver who just gets more and more appealing. It's fun and clever the way she works barrio denizens into her exploits in the seamy Los Angeles of the 1970s. I hope there are lots more stories to come—I couldn’t put this one down till the awesome finish.

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