A Past that Breathes



“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...”
Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams

Cover of the book

In January 1995, a promising young musician was found murdered in her apartment in West Los Angeles. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime, but someone saw her arguing with her ex-boyfriend, an African American man, the day before she was found dead. With the city in the throes of the O.J. Simpson trial at the time, LAPD was not about to let another African American skip town after killing a white woman. They arrested the ex-boyfriend on circumstantial evidence but ignored other evidence found at the scene of the crime that did not support their case.

This collection of evidence, and LAPD’s questionable tactics, did not sit well with the younger of two deputy district attorneys assigned to the case. Worse still, the defendant had hired a lawyer with whom the younger deputy district attorney had strong mutual attractions in college and had started seeing again. Caught in a web of the ideals they swore to uphold, an affair that could destroy their careers, and social and systemic racism, the young lawyers, both trying their first murder case, are plunged into the realities of a divided city and their place within it.

Author Photo
Photo credit: David N. Sachs

Noel A. 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), where he obtained 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.

A Past that Breathes

A Novel

by Noel A. Obiora

price may vary by retailer

Title: A Past That Breathes

Author(s): Noel Obiora

ISBN: 1-64428-170-8 / 978-1-64428-170-3 (USA edition)

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Rare Bird Books

UPC: 9781644281703

A Past That Breathes is one of the best courtroom dramas that I have ever read — and I’ve read a lot of them. Noel Obiora has written a crime thriller that weaves mystery and romance in a book that is both clever and engaging.”
PatZi Gil, Creator and Host, Joy on Paper 

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 WebbConversations Live!

“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 Dreams



A criminal defendant’s “right to decide for himself who best can conduct the case must be respected wherever feasible.” (Maxwell v. Superior Court, supra, 30 Cal.3d at p. 615; see also People v. Crovedi (1966) 65 Cal. 2d 199, 208 [53 Cal. Rptr. 284, 417 P.2d 868].) [4] Accordingly, counsel involved in a potential conflict situation such as that disclosed by this record may not proceed with the defense without first explaining fully to the accused the nature of his relationship with opposing counsel and affording the accused the opportunity, if he so desires, to secure counsel unencumbered by potential divided loyalties.



The Lord Chancellor [Eldon’. I am of opinion, that the Plaintiff has a sufficient property in the original letters to authorise an injunction, unless she has by some act deprived herself of it. Laying out of the case much of what Mr. Wetherell has urged with so much ingenuity, I say only that though a letter is a subject of property, capable of being much more largely dealt with, in communication, than books, as, by reading to others, repeating passages, etc., yet the Court has never been alarmed out of the practice of granting injunctions relative to letters to the extent to which it grants them in the case of books, because persons may assemble others, and read and recite to them; it is not deterred from giving that relief because it cannot give other relief more effectual.


Alvarez v coregis News paper Article

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