Last year, Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Mexican Gothic (justifiably) stormed all over the book charts. This year, the author returns with Velvet Was the Night, a mystery/noir/thriller novel set in 1970s Mexico. In addition to that great, eye-catching cover, the synopsis sounds suitably intriguing as well:
A riveting noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman that brings them together.
1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.
Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When 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.
Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ’n’ roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he comes to observe Maite from a distance—and grows more and more obsessed with this woman who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.
Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies all aiming to protect Leonora’s secrets—at gunpoint.
Really looking forward to reading this one. Velvet Was the Night is due to be published by Del Rey in North America and in the UK, on August 17th, 2021. New editions of the author’s The Beautiful Ones (April 27th) and Certain Dark Things (September 7th) are also due out this year, published by Tor Books.
Also on CR: Excerpt from Signal to Noise