Book Review: “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

mexican gothicNoemí Taboada is dispatched by her father to look into her newlywed cousin Catalina’s welfare after receiving a strange letter. When she arrives at High Place, the family estate of Catalina’s husband Virgil, she is received coldly by his relatives and can only get cryptic warnings out of her cousin, who doesn’t seem like her normal, ebullient self. Despite her discomfort, Noemí decides to stay and try to get to the bottom of what is happening in the moldy old house, and gradually comes to learn that the truth is much more shocking than she could have imagined. As is the norm for gothic horror, this is a slow-burn story. Luckily, Noemí is a great character to spend time with as we wait for things to really pick up. But once they do, they really, REALLY pick up, heading into a finale you will not see coming. The prose is simple but effective throughout, making it easy to feel like you’ve really seen High Place in person, and making the last third of the book all the more suspenseful. Themes of colonialism, eugenics, toxic masculinity, and female empowerment further elevate this above your average horror fare, and help make this one of the Summer’s best thrillers, in what is already an above-average season for the genre. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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