I received a gifted copy of VELVET WAS THE NIGHT by Silvia Moreno-Garcia from Random House / Del Rey Books! This was the September book for #theboozybuddyread hosted by @theboozy.reader so of course I had to join in!
Rating: 4 / 5
VELVET WAS THE NIGHT is set in 1970s Mexico City against a backdrop of unrest and political protests. Maite is a young woman living on her own (much to her mother’s dismay) and barely making ends meet. When her neighbor Leonora asks her to look after her pet while she’s gone for the weekend, Maite agrees for the money and for the chance to snoop around in the life of this neighbor she barely knows. When Leonora doesn’t return, Maite begins to investigate and uncover more and more about Leonora’s involvement with the students at the center of the protests.
We also follow Elivs, a man who works as an enforcer for one of the powerful men in the city. They too want to track down Leonora, though their reasons are very different. Elvis’ boss is determined to bring the rebellious in line, but Elvis himself doesn’t love the life of violence.
This book brings all the classic noir type vibes to the table and I’m again amazed at the way Silvia Moreno-Garcia can switch up her stories, settings and genres so flawlessly! This is a slow burn mystery with a lot of character driven plot as well. I’m not entirely sure I liked Maite, but she was fascinating to read about. She doesn’t make decisions that I always agreed with, but I could absolutely feel for her with her insecurities and her difficult family life. She’s determined to make it in dependent of the mother who’s consistently disappointed in her.
I loved the way music played into the story throughout. Elvis is obsessed with Elivis Presley and with music in general, something he finds he has in common with Maite as he begins to observe her from a distance. There is a playlist on Spotify for this novel and it was a lot of fun to listen between reading sessions!
This is a great slow burn read and one I would definitely recommend. The audio was fantastic for this one as well! It pairs well with a whiskey sour and a smoky candle!