Wednesday 29 July 2020

MEXICAN GOTHIC by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her. 

Noemi's chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin...

This is a book I've been looking forward to reading since I saw the pretty cover. So, I want to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a copy.

Noemí Taboada is a young socialite and student. She's what her father calls flighty, but stubborn. The day she finds out her recently-married cousin is having trouble in her new home, she agrees to go and check up on her.

However, as soon as Noemí gets to the Mexican countryside, she notices there's something strange about the worn house called High Place. And that Catalina's sickness might not be what it seems...

Oh, what an amazing book!

I liked Noemí as soon as I started reading. She's so cool, knows what she wants and how to get it. At the same time she's indecisive and has changed her university course several times. She's also got a very casual attitude towards guys, and is quite stylish. And she's so clever! All of these qualities are awesome, but challenging for a woman living in the 1950s.

Her strong personality makes the mystery she faces harder for her to deal with, and exciting for readers to experience.

Another thing that totally clicked with me was when Noemí arrives at the High Place. I knew then that this book and I were going to get along very well. I love stories set in big houses/estates that are in a somewhat state of disrepair and have an air of the eerie. Add a creepy family with freaky secrets slowly leaking out of the very walls, and I'm officially intrigued. And hooked.

There's an atmosphere of dread throughout the story that I found intoxicating, in the best way possible. The house felt like the strongest character in the Doyle family, hiding a menace I couldn't wait to discover.

Everything that goes on inside those walls--from Catalina's erratic behaviour, the claustrophobic corridors, and the awful family members--felt drenched in mold. As if it was slowly spreading and at the same time closing in until the true horror is revealed.

I loved so much about this story and as I was reading could visualise every scene inside my mind. I think this would make an awesome TV show. I mean, all the characters alone are deeply interesting and have such depth that I was captivated by their personal and collective stories.

My favourites were Noemí and Francis. Noemí because she's a fantastic leading lady with the perfect combination of intelligence, cunning and naivety. And Francis because he was like a friendly ghost existing inside a haunted house.

Mexican Gothic is an atmospheric and totally addictive horror tale that slowly releases its toxic core and before you realise it, has infected your mind. The vivid imagery within the boundaries of High Place gets under your skin, even when you can't help but be seduced by the very horrid nature of the place and the terrifying truths waiting around every corner.

I absolutely adored this book as much as I thought I would. It contained a lot of the ingredients that satisfied my horror-loving heart.

Can't wait to read more books by Silvia Moreno-Garcia because I love her storytelling style.

Mexican Gothic, July 2020, ISBN 9781529402674, Jo Fletcher Books

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