Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…

During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.

But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.

Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.

Book Type:

Gothic Thriller / Horror

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The Hacienda
By Isabel Cañas

Review: The Hacienda

Isabel Cañas debuts a mesmeric, gorgeously gothic thriller with The Hacienda.

In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence and in the wake of her General father’s murder, Beatriz marries wealthy widower Rodolfo Solórzano, a mysterious military man who proffers an escape she can’t refuse.

Beatriz arrives as his new wife to his countryside estate—Hacienda San Isidro.

But soon nightmares plague her sleep, visions and voices haunt her days, and she relentlessly feels the weight of eyes unseen. Terrified she’ll die within these walls, she seeks the help of Padre Andrés, who harbors dark secrets of his own.

As the haunting reaches a fever pitch, forbidden feelings between Beatriz and Andrés elicit further complication, but not before the house enacts more vengeance.

Cañas’ stunning writing rouses the nightmare to life, ratcheting tension and fear with every frantic turn of the page. And while she sets you on edge, she brilliantly imparts the realities of colonial power struggles and pointed strictures about the period’s casta systems. Cañas’ masterfully balances atmosphere, tension, history, and romance, all while bringing the familiar haunted house trope to life in a way that felt wholly frightening.

I’m simply obsessed with this book—an extraordinary debut which lingers long after you’re done.

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