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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Mexican Gothic comes a riveting noir thriller about a daydreaming secretary and a lonely enforcer - and the missing woman they are both seeking.

1970s Mexico City: while student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes from her humdrum life in the stories of passion and danger that fill the latest issue of Secret Romance.

She is deeply envious of her neighbour, Leonora, a beautiful art student who lives the life of excitement and intrigue Maite craves - so when she disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite jumps at the chance to uncover Leonora's secrets.

Maite is not the only one searching for the missing girl. Elvis, a goon-for-hire who is longing to escape his violent life, has been assigned to find the student. Like Maite, he loves old movies, comics and rock 'n' roll...and he's beginning to be interested in the mousy secretary who is fast becoming involved in a world of political intrigue.

As Maite and Elvis follow Leonora's trail, they journey deeper into a world of student radicals, hitmen, government agents and Russian spies, who are all determined to unearth Leonora's secrets - at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night is an explosive combination of such classic '70s thrillers as Three Days of the Condor and contemporary Mexican noir like Yuri Herrera's celebrated Signs Preceding the End of the World.

©2021 Silvia Moreno-Garcia (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about Velvet was the Night

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-21

Noir cool, recommended

A daydreaming, romance novel-loving secretary and gang member are slowly drawn together as they each search for a missing girl. Mills and Boon meets Pulp Fiction against a backdrop of political unrest, violence and student repression in early 1970s Mexico. Quirky, clever and unique- great book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-21

Brilliant fun

The most fun I've had in ages. Brilliant writing. Great performance. Entertaining. I recommend it,

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  • Samantha
  • 09-30-21

Smooth Noir - Well Written

"Some people are made to be lonely"

When I love a book, I find that it’s so much harder to write about it because the words I sometimes have is just an inhuman garble of words which culminates in a PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. I can go for hours about books that I dislike, but for books like these it takes just a little bit of extra effort to bring back coherency, rein in the emotion and articulate myself well.

I adored the characters of Maite and Elvis and felt their desperation and loneliness seep through the pages and touch a similar yearning within myself. Neither Maite and Elvis are where they thought they’d end up and they seem to just be going through the motions of a never-ending life, trying to find some sparks of serotonin wherever they can. They lose themselves in selected choices of escapism – which as bookworms we are innately in touch with this concept. Music is such a form of connection between the two stories, and I encourage you to take a listen to the Velvet Was the Night playlist that was put together for this purpose.

Looking at Maite it looked like I was staring into a mirror (with the exception of a compulsion to steal) – even down to one story that Maite told of a workplace experience:

“… but the fact that she had to waste half an hour of her lunchtime standing in line and paying for a pair of socks irritated her.”

I, too, have had to go and purchase some socks for a boss on my lunchbreak – as soon as I read this, the kinship was cemented and I was rooting for her from then on. Although, I do love cats and I would have moved Leonora’s cat in with me immediately and would have never let it go.

Elvis touched a deep part of sorrow and loneliness in my core and although he is, what you would call, an anti-hero – I kept wishing for him to get all the good in the world. In a world where we’re all just trying to do our best, you can see him trying.

Velvet was the Night is told by dual POV’s and they are entwined so well, as both Maite and Elvis are on the trail of Leonora (for similar but differing reasons). I never felt lost as to whose story we were hearing as they both had their own individual voices firmly created and the switching between them was just so natural.

“Often life doesn’t make sense, and if Elvis had a motto it was that: life’s a mess”

Moreno-Garcia has a knack for writing Noir’s (PLEASE READ UNTAMED SHORE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY) and I am desperately hoping that there is another one in her future, because I will absolutely devour that one too.