cover image Silver Nitrate

Silver Nitrate

Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Del Rey, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-35536-7

Bestseller Moreno-Garcia (The Daughter of Doctor Moreau) takes readers behind the scenes of 1993 Mexico City’s horror movie industry in this powerful and chilling thrill ride. Lifelong film buffs Montserrat and Tristán have remained best friends since childhood, though their lives take very different turns, with Montserrat going into the underpaid, male-dominated audio editing space and Tristán rising to and falling from soap opera stardom. Tristán finds a similarly fallen friend in his new neighbor, Abel Urueta, a once legendary director whose career was destroyed by the unfinished mess of his last film. Abel claims the screenplay was written by Nazi occultist Wilhelm Ewers, who meant to use the film to cast a luck spell, but following Ewers’s sudden death the spell was inverted. Abel convinces Montserrat and Tristán that finishing the film with him will finish the original spell and bring them all luck—only for their endeavors to draw forth something very different from the dark. Combining real history with unsettling magic, Moreno-Garcia effortlessly ties explorations of misogyny, addiction, antisemitism, and racism into a plot that never falters from its breakneck pace. The narrative shifts effortlessly between fantasy, horror, and romance, helmed by a well-shaded cast. The complex female characters are particular standouts. This is a knockout. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky. (July)