Review: Mexican Gothic - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).

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 Noemi’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.

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Mexican Gothic
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Review: Mexican Gothic

A woman uncovers terrifying secrets in a run-down mansion near a remote mining town in 1950s Mexico.

We meet 22-year-old Noemí Taboada, who at the request of her father, travels from Mexico City to check in on her cousin, Catalina who lives in High Place. Catalina recently married the enigmatic, blue-eyed Virgil Doyle—heir to a defunct mining operation in small-town El Triunfo. Catalina sends a disturbing letter, begging Noemí for help, claiming she is bound by an evil she cannot escape.

“This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment.”

When she arrives, Noemí is met with a chilly reception from the inscrutable Virgil and his sneering father, Howard. Catalina languishes by the fever which plagues her—nothing like the vibrant cousin she grew up with. And worse yet, she begins to experience horrific hallucinations and nightmares, visions of terrifying things alive and lurking in the wallpapered walls of this crumbling home. Before too long, Noemí knows she must get herself and Catalina out from the evil clutches of High Place, but once she uncovers the sinister secrets generations have hidden, she may be too late.

Moreno-Garcia pens a fascinating, absorbing narrative woven with elements of Mexican folklore to deliver a fresh and frightening take on classic horror. I loved that this was set in 1950s Mexico, I could clearly envision High Place, once luxurious but now decrepit and crumbling under the weight of its secrets. I could viscerally feel the pull of the house, the leering, the scheming, the danger that was biding its time.

The novel is beautifully written and incredibly atmospheric with clear notes of Lovecraftian horror. Moreno-Garcia brilliantly ratchets tension throughout as we dared to imagine the evil at play, inching towards a heart-pounding finale that left me breathless.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s the gothic haunted-house thriller you didn’t know you needed, and that I promise will stay with you long after you’re done.

“The world might indeed be a cursed circle; the snake swallowed its tail and there could be no end, only an eternal ruination and endless devouring.”

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  1. Jamie said:

    I just received a copy of this book for my birthday and I am so excited to start reading it! I’m glad to see so many positive reviews for this book, thank you for sharing your thoughts!


    1. vilmairis Post author said:

      Hope you enjoy it!


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