The Devil Takes You Home
Review by Roy Peak
A while back I reviewed Gabino Iglesias' earlier novel, Coyote Songs, a book which successfully straddles the line between noir and horror. Barrio noir is what Iglesias himself calls it. Iglesias' most recent entry into the horror genre ups the ante with a tale of revenge, double-crosses, great emotional loss, second chances, and some of the scariest, grisliest scenes yet successfully penned by anyone.
Iglesias' biggest strength is his unwillingness to compromise when it comes to terror. From underground tunnels full of nameless horrors, a ferocious undead being, the scariest little church in El Paso—not to mention the cartel compound with crocodiles, cock fights, killer transvestites, and the freakiest witch you'll ever meet—I guarantee you'll come away with a few sleepless nights.
Mario, our narrator in this tale, has lost everything that matters to him, and finds himself working as a hitman for a cartel leader in Mexico. Just one more job, he tells himself, then he can start over and everything will be okay again. Of course, second chances are never that easy, even after a trial by fire—and an Iglesias story is always full of the worst trials imaginable. No one comes out unscarred, nothing will ever be the same. You know from the offset that Mario may be doomed, but as to what extant, Iglesias keeps you guessing until the very end while laying out a tale of true terror.
How Hollywood has failed to come sniffing around Iglesias and his amazing stories is beyond me as his tales are perfect for film with their descriptive imagery and the over the top, yet believable, situations he puts his characters in. This is Coen Brothers crime story meets Guillermo del Toro horror, but manages to go way past that mixing of genres into thrilling new territory ripe for the big screen. It's no wonder that Iglesias has won several awards, he's an emerging talent with a singular voice who's only getting better with each book.
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville. Roy writes music reviews for the Rocking Magpie among others.