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zoot-suit murders

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Thomas Sanchez is a descendant of Spanish immigrants and Portuguese cattlemen dating back four generations to the California Gold Rush. Sanchez was born in 1944 in Oakland, California days after his father was killed at the age of 21 in the Battle of Tarawa during World War II.

Sanchez' first novel, RABBIT BOSS, a 100 year epic of an Indian tribe, was begun at the age of 20 when he worked on a cattle ranches in the California mountains. (RABBIT BOSS -- a landmark of our literature -- Vanity Fair.)

In the early 1970s Sanchez was involved in the siege of the Indian town of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, site of the infamous massacre of Sioux Indians. Sanchez ran strategic supplies to Indians trapped inside the town of Wounded Knee, which had been surrounded by armed U.S. government troops with shoot to kill orders.

Moving to Southern California, Sanchez completed in 1978 his second novel, ZOOT-SUIT MURDERS, set in 1940s Los Angeles. The novel explores a chaotic world of tough barrio gangs, Communist hysteria, bizarre religious cults and undercover government agents. After the novel’s publication Sanchez received a Guggenheim Award for his writings. (ZOOT-MURDERS -- may be the best of the home-front novels of World War II -- Los Angeles Times.)

In the 1980s Sanchez traveled throughout the American tropics and was in harm's way during the civil wars of Guatemala and El Salvador, where he traversed political and physical jungles with a real life cast of characters -- guerrilla fighters, renegade priests, CIA spooks and hard-bitten war journalists. Much of this made its way into Sanchez' third novel, MILE ZERO, a generational panoramic of ship-wreckers, drug pirates and gun-runners on the island of Key West. (MILE ZERO -- dazzling...bursting with vital characters -- New York Times.)

During the 1990s Sanchez lived in Paris, Provence and Mallorca, the settings of his fourth novel, DAY OF THE BEES. The novel explores the hidden life of a French woman transformed from an artist's muse into a Resistance fighter. The French Republic awarded Sanchez the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres for his body of work. (DAY OF THE BEES -- a mystery of the heart...absolutely transporting -- Philadelphia Inquirer)

Sanchez' fifth novel, KING BONGO, is set against the glamour and intrigue of 1950s Havana, where Cuban and American cultures collided with revolutionary consequence. (KING BONGO -- an exotic portrait of sex, violence, corruption and conspiracy in Cuba -- Washington Post.)

Sanchez' sixth novel explores environmental rage and redemptive struggle in the riveting drama of a mysterious voodoo assassin who upturns the lives of a crusading pirate radio shock jock and an enigmatic female cop who holds the ultimate key to startling truth.

The complete set of Thomas Sanchez novels are published by Knopf/Vintage at Random House.