Goodreads: Mexican Gothic
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Buy: Bookshop.org UK | US
Synopsis: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Review: It’s rare that a book becomes a five star read for me just a few chapters in, but this book is one of those few. Mexican Gothic is the haunted house thriller I’d always dreamed of, it’s so unassuming and just as you think you know what’s happening this book will twist round and bite you.
Mexican Gothic is the slowest of slow burns but the atmosphere created by Moreno-Garcia means it wont feel like it. You’ll watch the mystery slowly unfurl alongside Noemí, and the beautifully lyrical prose is so good at keeping you hooked. This book is just so creepy and unexpected that I couldn’t put it down, I honestly can’t believe that the book I started 2021 with will probably be on my best books of the year list in December.
The slow burn is probably the one thing that would niggle at a person in this, and I’m probably a little hypocritical when I say that I liked it, but everything happens in the last fifty or so pages of the book. The tension in this slowly builds through Noemí, and due to it’s character driven nature there are no twists that the reader gets first. I promise that this book will make your skin crawl and your heart beat a little faster, it’s a truly gorgeous gothic horror.
This is a horror so there are a few things to be aware of like body horror and sexual assault, but there are a few warnings that’ll quickly lead us into spoiler territory so I’ll keep those to myself. Mexican Gothic is an atmospheric and eerie horror, and I can’t recommend it enough.