“The title comes from forensic evidence that was used to determine where some of the victims were from. A scientist character in the book was able to analyze tissue samples for their water content. The chemical structure of water will vary slightly from one geographic location to another,” says Nieto
The story takes place in 1971 and is the sequel to “The Pig behind the Bear,” which won first place in the International Latino Book Awards, and a silver medal for the Independent Publisher Awards. Like the first book, it integrates real history into its fictionalized account.
“The history of the egregious land grab from Chavez Ravine residents and subsequent construction of Dodger Stadium is intertwined in my latest mystery novel featuring a feisty Chicana reporter who uses her Revlon lipstick like a talisman. She follows a trail that leads her to believe that the people behind the land grab are tied unthinkable crimes, including five murders recent murders,” says Nieto
Oakland resident Maria Nieto is a Professor in the Biological Science Department at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, but the Latina author set her Alejandro Marisol novels in Los Angeles, where she was born and raised.
“Both books tackle hard subjects, such as abuses waged upon immigrants and children. I wanted to figure out a path to write about monstrous acts in a way that could still engage the reader who wanted to escape, to be entertained. I wanted to find the light in the darkness, and as it can be life,” says Nieto
Nieto uses “The Grieving: Ciudad Juarez,” an oil on canvas work by Rebekah Tarin to illustrate the book. Like the book, the painting focuses on some of the most vulnerable members of our society. It commemorates the deaths of more than 370 girls and women from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.
“As I have worked to do with this story, Rebekah’s art forces us to see the unseen; the victims we never knew, those killed under the cover of nightfall,” Nieto
Nieto appears at Alley Cat Bookstore at 3036 24th Street in San Francisco on February 10 at 6:30 pm. She is also reading at DeAnza High School in Richmond.