This is a debut novel by a new Mexican-American author – how did crimeworm get on with her writing?
Well – wow! This was such a difficult book to put down, so the heatwave gave me a perfect excuse to read all night to finish it off – I could probably have slept, now I have a fan, but hell! Why sleep when you have a book like this you can pick up?
Now, the last book I read with a Mexican setting would have been one of Don Winslow’s Cartel trilogyi, which I absolutely adore, but I must say, it’s refreshing to read about another side of Mexico. Although crime does feature in this book, it’s a very different kind of crime…
Tell us more about the characters…
The book is narrated by two characters: first of all, there’s Cassie Bowman, who’s scunnered churning out true crime stories for a blog of trashy stories, mostly featuring dead women. But needs must, and Cassie and her partner Duke are living on a shoestring in expensive Austin, Texas. One news story catches her eye: that of Lore Rivera, who bigamously married a second husband in Mexico City, despite having a first husband and twins in Laredo, Texas. Murder ensues when Lore’s two worlds collide: Andres, her Mexico City husband, goes to Laredo, where Fabian, husband no.1, shoots and kills him in his motel room. But can Cassie possibly persuade Lore, who has never spoken to any reporters, to talk to her? Cassie is desperate to find a different kind of story – one exactly like this – to lift her out of her day-to-day shock-and-horror blogging job, and into the classier kind of crime writing – that of long form journalism, like ‘In Cold Blood’ once was.
The other narrator is, of course, Lore, and we learn what really happened back then…and of course there are a few surprises in store.
So you enjoyed this book?
I did, very much. It’s not a straight crime story – it’s definitely more literary than that. But both women are compelling characters, and both have secrets. It’s fairly lengthy, but definitely doesn’t drag, as Gutierrez is a very talented, lyrical writer, who spins a fascinating tale with great raw material. The people, and the places, really come alive. It’s a fantastic debut, spun out a superb idea, and will probably be one of my favourite books of the year – and this has been an exceptional year so far!
A wonderful read that’s oh-so-hard to put down!
With thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph Books for the blog tour invitation and the ARC. This has not affected my review, and this is my honest opinion.
BLURB: It was a story that Cassie Bowman couldn’t resist.
Lore Rivera loved two men…
Until one of them shot the other…
Lore Rivera was married to two men at once, until on a baking hot day in 1986, one of them found out and shot the other. A secret double life, a tragic murder. That’s the story the world knows.
It’s not the story that fascinates Cassie Bowman.
Carrying the weight of her own family tragedy, true-crime writer Cassie wants to know more about the mysterious woman at the heart of it all, Lore. How did one woman fall in love with two different men? How did she balance the love and the lies?
To her surprise, Cassie finds that Lore is willing to talk. To finally tell her heartbreaking story – about how a dance became an affair; how a marriage became a murder.
As the two women grow closer, Cassie finds she can’t help but confess her own darkest secrets. But when she slowly starts to realise that there might be more to the night of the murder than anyone has realised, can either woman face up to the thing they’ve been hiding from: the truth?