Noel A. Obiora

Curse of the Specter Queen

It was a joy to talk to Noel Obiora about his debut novel: The Past That Breathes is one of the best courtroom dramas that I have ever read -- and I've read a lot of them. Having myself been involved in a few lawsuits, I find the practice of law fascinating -- and Noel Obiora has written a crime thriller that weaves mystery and romance in a book that is both clever and engaging.

Like his inspiration, Charles Dicken's Bleak House, Noel's novel offers tremendous insights into the practice of law as he writes about complex issues along with nuanced and believable characters.

Relevant to today's racially-tense times, it is against the background of the O.J. Simpson trial that had Los Angeles in its grips. It is January 1995 and in West Los Angeles, a white woman is killed following an argument with her ex-boyfriend, an African-American. In an attempt to avoid further racial tensions, the police quickly arrest him on circumstantial evidence. But In their haste for a conviction -- and prejudice -- they ignore vital evidence found at the scene of the crime.

The Past That Breathes is centers on the two young untested criminal lawyers who are sitting at opposite tables in the courtroom. Both idealists, they are thrown into a trial that finds them caught up in a case that will test the ideals of both Kenneth Brown and Amy Wilson

As all courtroom dramas should be, this is a clever and unpredictable story that is suspenseful and the love story compelling. It is a joy to watch the case unfold and will keep you turning the pages. Not only does Noel Obiora know how to paint a scene so that we feel what it is like to be in a courtroom, but he writers excellent dialog.

About the Author

Noel Obiora was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States as a teenager. He attended College in the United States, obtaining a law degree at the University of Texas, and an undergraduate degree in Business Economics at Southern Connecticut University. After briefly practicing law in Los Angeles, California, he continued his studies at Kings College, London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), for an M.A. in Text and Performance Studies. For his Master’s thesis at Kings College and RADA, he wrote the Play, “Dinner for the President”.

He lives in Northern California with his family and works as a Senior Public Utilities Counsel for the State of California, advocating for safety and reliability of the State’s utilities services on behalf of ratepayers. He is an avid soccer fan, a documentary film enthusiast and enjoys traveling.


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What people are saying...

"A Past That Breathes by Noel Obiora is a fascinating book with many different layers that appeals to a variety of individuals. A book that takes us into relationships, race, class, belonging in a society―all the big things―right and wrong.”
Cyrus Webb,Conversations Live!
"[An] exploration of how race impacts the criminal justice system..."
Publishers Weekly

"A Past That Breathes is an interesting portrayal of a trial with compelling characters who make it come to life. Obiora shows great promise as a writer."
Book Reporter

“Noel Obiora’s debut, A Past that Breathes, pits two untested criminal lawyers against each other, entangling them in danger, passion, twists and turns right to the end. The trial challenges not only the lawyers and the jury, but also the reader to examine how crimes, suspects and motives look different through the lens of racial bias.”
Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dream

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