GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a simmering historical noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of the missing woman they’re both desperate to find.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, BookPage, She Reads, Library Journal • “An adrenalized, darkly romantic journey.”—The Washington Post
Mexico in the 1970s is a dangerous country, even for Maite, a secretary who spends her life seeking the romance found in cheap comic books and ignoring the activists protesting around the city. When her next-door neighbor, the beautiful art student Leonora, disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman—and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.
Mexico in the 1970s is a politically fraught land, even for Elvis, a goon with a passion for rock ’n’ roll who knows more about kidney-smashing than intrigue. When Elvis is assigned to find Leonora, he begins a blood-soaked search for the woman—and his soul.
Swirling in parallel trajectories, Maite and Elvis attempt to discover the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, encountering hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies. Because Mexico in the 1970s is a noir, where life is cheap and the price of truth is high.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you adored Mexican Gothic as much as we did, get ready for another romantic and historical thriller from Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Plain 30-year-old legal secretary Maite has consigned herself to a dull life in early-’70s Mexico City, enlivened only by passionate romance novels and American pop music. But then she agrees to cat sit for her beautiful, glamorous neighbor, Leonora—and then Leonora disappears. When Maite tries to track her down, she lands in a web of CIA-trained government thugs, student activists, and Russian spies. Digging into Mexican history once again, Moreno-Garcia never hits a false note while building tension. And when a quirky meet-cute romance develops between Maite and a violent agitator who shares her love of Elvis, things really get good. Violent, scary, funny, and unexpectedly sweet, Velvet Was the Night is a delicious mashup that delivers all the thrills.
This seductive neo-noir thriller from bestseller Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic) draws on the real-life efforts of the Mexican government to suppress political dissent in the 1970s. Maite, a 30-year-old secretary in Mexico City who feels life has passed her by, escapes from routine by reading the magazine Secret Romance, oblivious to the political upheaval around her. When her beautiful art student neighbor, Leonora, disappears, Maite, with the help of Rub n, Leonora's former lover, begins a search that takes her into the world of student radicals. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Elvis, muscle for a clandestine, government-funded shock troop employed to suppress student protests, longs for something more and wishes to escape his old life. When Elvis's boss assigns him to track down Leonora, his search crosses that of Maite, with whom he becomes fascinated. As the two get closer to discovering the reason behind Leonora's disappearance, they uncover secrets that shadowy forces, both domestic and foreign, will kill to protect. This is a rich novel with an engrossing plot, distinctive characters, and a pleasing touch of romance. Readers won't be able to put it down.
How could I have missed the days of the "Dirty War" in the 70s? After reading this story filled with violence, sex and revenge from the dark side, it feels like I'm a little more up to speed.
A Mexican government group, known as the Hawks, attacked, tortured and killed student protestors on the left side of politics. One of the main characters in the book was Leonora, an art student and activist who asked her neighbor, Maite, to take care of her cat for a couple of days. Little did Maite know that she was now feeling like she was inside one of her favorite books: Secret Romance which gave her a taste of danger. The big question was: what happened to Leonora as she disappeared after a few days while strange men made their way into her apartment looking for photos.
The book was much different than the author's previous one: Mexican Gothic. I found it to be engaging with the historical part opening my eyes. There were a lot of references to Maite's passion for books, comics and music. One of her friends pointed out, "Change should come peacefully. We need.a more educated nation, we need to come to agreements." The book leaves the reader with much to think about.