“After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed 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.”
I got an ARC of this book.
This cover is so gorgeous. A full star is just because this cover exists and I am still excited by the cover. Though the wall paper is not green in the story, it is yellow. Like that really famous story. The really famous story that is CONSTANTLY referenced in a way that just felt super overdone and badly written. There are only so many times you can mention yellow wallpaper and that things in the wallpaper are moving before it just feels like this is a book ripped off of another. Almost got to that point honestly.
The book itself was well written. It was technically good. The issue was it was boring. I was put to sleep twice while reading. I ended up taking really wonderful naps. Naps that felt like more happened than in the entire book. I am not even trying to be rude, but when all of the action is in the last 10% of the book it is boring.
If this were a horror movie, I would have been googling what happened and fast forwarding. There were so many pages of building plot while nothing was happening. This did not need to be over 300 pages. It would have worked better as a novella. There was not enough substance to support the length. There was little to no character development to give me any reason to care about the characters.
The horror itself was subpar. It just wasn’t scary. This could have been a great horror story, but it just wasn’t. There was a reliance on sexual assault and rape, which I honestly didn’t expect. Though I really should expect it. The reliance on sexual assault and rape in horror media is so all consuming that I really should stop expecting women to be better than men in this. I should just assume that every lead female in horror will be raped or sexually assaulted (or at best, be devoid of clothing in a “sexy” way for no real reason). The ending was very much a Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not even the good one, but one of the terrible sequels or one of the original ones where it was full of bad everything. The ending was disappointing in so many ways.
I guess I only have that one good thing to say about the cover, but I really couldn’t find anything else I liked about the book. I am really saddened by this. I wanted to love it. So many others did. It looks gorgeous, but it just fell so flat for me.
2 out of 5 stars. I would maybe recommend this book.
You can buy the book here.