Author: Silvia Moreno – Garcia
Publication Date: 30 June 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction – Gothic Thriller/Horror
Publisher: Del Rey
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed 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.
Before I went into reading this one, I already had a chip on my shoulder because I kept reading these reviewers by white influencers that claimed that this book did not have enough Mexican culture. I read the book. That is a BOLD FACE LIE. If someone didn’t recognize the Mexican culture in this book, it means they need to think twice about the stereotypes that they associate with that culture.
So without further ado, let’s just unpack all things Mexican Gothic because this book blew me away in the best possible way.
Set in the 1950s, Noemí Taboada is a socialite living with her father in Mexico City. Everything changes when Noemí receives a frantic letter from her cousin Catalina. Catalina is married to an Englishman and they reside High Place, which is in the Mexican countryside…a region that is unfamiliar to Noemí. As soon as Noemí sets foot in High Place, their dichotomous nature is obvious. Noemí embodies the bold, rich Mexican culture which includes food, family, dancing, and speaking Spanish. Everything in High Place tries to erase all traces of Mexican heritage even though the doom and gloom of a mansion is located in Mexico. Right away, we know that something isn’t quite right at High Place, and Noemí is in for a wild ride.
Let me just start with the deliciously creepy setting of High Place. Moreno – Garcia beautifully crafts an atmospheric and chilling setting where we are intimately made aware of the once opulence style rooms that are now mold incrusted rooms have been left to ruin. I’m going to make it very clear that I would NEVER spend one night in High Place. It’s eerie, full of deep rooted secrets, and out for blood…yes, you read that correctly.
From start to finish, I was absolutely engrossed in this story. I loved the dark and creepy descriptions of High Place as well as the foreign nature that Noemí brought upon the house when she stepped foot on the grounds.
The start of the book is more of a slow burn as you really start to understand High Place, but the last 40 percent of the book had me asking WTF every few minutes. It was absolutely wild, and I was here for every single minute of it.
I can’t gush enough about this book. This book has made me a believer in gothic fiction and Moreno – Garcia will definitely be an auto-read author for me from now on.
Thank you to Del Rey for providing a review copy through NetGalley. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.