Poli Flores Jr. is known to many as a judge in Imperial Valley but few knew that being a storyteller was part of his passion.
The book “In the Shadow of the Sun” takes place in Imperial Valley. It tells the story of Sammy Mendoza’s brother Curt returning from two tours of duty in Vietnam, in which the once-popular young man is now suffering from severe-post traumatic stress disorder.
Their family’s once-ideal life in 1960s California soon spirals into a nightmare when Curt is accused of the murder of one of the town’s wealthiest scions.
While the well-to-do members of the community utilize a corrupt sheriff to keep the trust of a wealthy secret inaccessible, Sammy’s family works with a radical lawyer to prepare an insanity defense for court based on his PTSD. As the mystery unfolds and threatens to tear apart the town, the Mendoza family struggles to keep themselves together in the face of tragedy.
But no matter what the final verdict may be, they will all come out the other side changed-with innocence forever lost.
“Growing up in the valley most of us knew kids that went to Vietnam, families, neighbors if affected everyone,” Flores said. “I tried to incorporate things like the culture, the music, how it was from a viewpoint from a young boy living through that.”
Flores is a lifelong resident of Calexico, California. He has worked as a lawyer, superior court judge, and law professor at San Diego State University. He is a graduate of UCLA and UC Hasting College of Law.
Flores always had the goal of being a writer one day while going to college. The opportunity finally came.
“The book is a homage to the Vietnam veterans and some of the characters are composites of people that I knew. It was a tough decade of assassinations, unrest in the colleges, it was a tough decade for us,” Flores remembered.
The book is now available at Amazon for purchase.