An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
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.
“A shiver-inducing tale combining touches of Northanger Abbey with bits of the Gormenghast trilogy . . . to create a fascinating atmosphere of dark dreams and intrigue.”—Booklist
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Gothic horror just got a feminist update. Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s glorious and creepy novel takes place in the demure 1950s and stars a headstrong, self-possessed heroine who more than holds her own in any conflict, especially where men are concerned. Noemí, a young Mexico City socialite, receives a desperate and disturbing letter from her beloved cousin Catalina, leading Noemí to leave her glamorous cosmopolitan life behind to check on her. She soon discovers that Catalina’s new life in a spooky, dilapidated country estate is full of scares—the creepiest of all being her sexy but sinister new husband, British expat Virgil Doyle. Moreno-Garcia’s love of gothic horror shines through in her knowing nods to classics like Rebecca and Northanger Abbey. With its mix of nightmarish imagery, tingling suspense, and sultry sensuality, Mexican Gothic is impossible to put down. We especially love Moreno-Garcia’s flip of traditional gender roles—in her book, the daring damsel is the one who rides to the rescue.
Moreno-Garcia's energetic romp through the gothic genre (after Gods of Jade and Shadow) is delightfully bonkers. In the 1950s, Noem , a flirtatious socialite and college student, travels from Mexico City to rescue her cousin Catalina from the nightmarish High Place, a remote Mexican mountain villa. Catalina has recently married the chilly, imperiously seductive Virgil Doyle, heir to a now defunct British silver mining operation. Beset by mysterious fevers, Catalina has written to her uncle, Noem 's father, telling him, "This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment." Noem clashes with Virgil's father, Howard who subscribes to theories of eugenics along with a set of oddly robotic British servants. Beset by horrifying dreams and visions, and unsettled by a peculiar fungus that grows everywhere, Noem soon fears for her own life as well as Catalina's. In a novel that owes a considerable debt to the nightmarish horror and ornate language of H.P. Lovecraft, the situations in which Noem attempts to prevail get wilder and stranger with every chapter, as High Place starts exhibiting a mind of its own, and Noemi learns that Howard is far older than he appears to be. Readers who find the usual country house mystery too tame and languid won't have that problem here.