Trigger Warning for attempted rape, violence and violence againt children.
He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.
When glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it’s clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her.
Noemí’s chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin.
Tough and smart, she possesses 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 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, 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, mesmerised by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to leave this enigmatic house behind . . .
I was so excited when I got this book because I had seen it everywhere and heard people raving about it, so when I got it I was thrilled.
The story follows Noemi a young socialite living in Mexico City and enjoys going dancing, smoking and flirting with men. One day her father receives a frantic letter from Noemis cousin Catalina, saying that she is hearing voices and she is constantly being watched. Noemi is sent to High Place to check on Catalina.
On her arrival she notices how creepy and quiet the house is, set on top of a hill and surrounded by mist, she can’t ignore her suspicion of the family and why they would stay in this old decrepit house.
It isn’t long until she is victim to the family condescension, especially Howard Doyle, the patriarch of the family. Whenever Noemi is forced to meet Howard he makes not so subtle comments about her skin and how dark she is, and how being pale is better. ButNoemi stands up for herself and makes comments back at him which I loved because well who doesn’t like when a victim shuts down a racist!?
Virgil, Catalina’s husband and Howards son, is by far the creepiest character of them all, he isn’t racist it’s just the way he stares at Noemi, seemingly to undress her in his mind and leering at her. I couldn’t stand him!
Florence, Virgil’s mother was strict and never willing to let things slide. She is the enforcer of the family, ensuring things go the ‘right way’ in her house and within her family.
The only good person in the creepy Doyle family is Frances, he is always looking out for Noemi and tries to tell her that she needs to leave.
And of course there’s Catalina, when Noemi gets to see her, she is bedridden or sitting in her chair in her bedroom and she just looks and sounds like she is out of it. Then Catalina manages to summon up the strength to ask Noemi to go to town and get her a tonic. Noemi is of course concerned at the state of her cousin but the Doyle family insists that she is fine and getting the best possible care.
Not long after her arrival Noemi starts to have nightmares involving Virgil. More than once in her dreams he is sexually assulting her, but in the morning and she sees him, it’s almost as if he knows what she dreamt about and it’s just the way he is looking at her that she knows something isn’t right.
I really liked Noemi because she was always making sarcastic comments to the family. There was one thing she said to Florence that I marked and just wrote ‘LOL’ next to it. I thought she was brilliant.
While all of this was happening, I was really excited because I thought ‘wow this is creepy and messed up’. But then you find out the family secret, and I was disappointed because I felt like it was a bit of a let down. I was expecting a bit more out of it.
Without giving too much away, I liked what was going on but I wasn’t a big fan of the cause of the effects.
I would reccomend Mexican Gothic but I would recommend other things above it.
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