The back cover of the book sheds light on Soto's past experience with Alcatraz, and on his post-graduate education:
Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto first visited Alcatraz when he was five years old and he hasn't stopped thinking about it since. In addition to being the world's foremost expert on the island, he has doctorates in both Criminal Justice and Civil War History. But his proudest achievement by far is holding the North American high score in Galaga.
Dr. Soto is also the author of "ALCATRAZ BY THE NUMBERS", "GUARDS OF ALCATRAZ", and "ALCATRAZ: FAMILIES AND FRIENDS."
As part of the viral marketing for Alcatraz, a book review of Inmates of Alcatraz was sent to a number of media channels. As published on page 34 of the fictional magazine Commerce Quantified, fictional literary critic Nancy Gleinen reviews Soto's latest publication.
With his enthralling Inmates of Alcatraz, Dr. Diego Soto goes behind the bars and unlocks the twisted lives of a population formerly lost to history.
If you want a healthy dose of murder, regret, and intrigue, don't resort to watching soap operas - head out to your local bookstore and pick up the latest entry in Soto's already impressive oeuvre that I like to call 'Alcatraz revisited.' He goes beyond the usual suspects (your Capones, your Machine Gun Kellys, your Birdmen) and paints an intimate portrait of dozens of forgotten inmates, each story leaping from the page with ferocity and renewed urgency. It's as if they're reanimating before your very eyes!
Despite the human-centric title, the book also delves into the foreboding setting of Alcatraz Island. 'The Rock' has never been so jagged, menacing and craggy - every vista provides a skewed take on humanity, Soto-style. He finds a way to transform the irregular outcropping into a shiv of brilliance. It is the judge, jury and executioner in this sordid tale of amorality run amok; no matter how notable the real-life characters in this book may be, they will never overshadow the prison itself.
But don't take my word for it - Soto's whimsical prose speaks for itself. Here's an excerpt from the opening chapter of Inmates:
"Everything about USP Alcatraz is larger than life; the people, the history, even the daily operations boggle the mind. For instance, the feds shipped about a million gallons of fresh waster from the mainland every week. Imagine: bringing water to an island. Trip out on that."
Trip out, indeed. Soto bites into his subject matter like a jubilant piranha, shredding all preconceptions and injecting new blood into the burgeoning sub genre of obscure historiography. He revels in every scrap of evidence, reads them like decaying tea leaves and translates the whispers of the past into thunderous declarations of the snow. Suffice to say, Inmates of Alcatraz is my Book of the Week!