The Devil Takes You Home

Mulholland. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780316426916. $28. HORROR
In Iglesias’s (Zero Saints) newest, Mario is barely getting by while providing for his wife and daughter. Then a cancer diagnosis causes his world to crumble. Desperate, he seeks out his drug dealing friend Brian for violent jobs that will cover his debts and get his family back. Brian introduces Mario to Juanca, and the three lost souls go on a road trip to avenge Juanca’s family and steal from the Mexican drug lords, who have stolen so much already. This is no ordinary thriller, though. As Mario narrates and comments on the unfairness of the world, readers see the miles pass, sunsets on the open road, and horrors that hide in plain sight. Scenes of magic, love, family, and faith are contradicted by brutality, violence, racism, and terror. This is a master class in discomfort, a Barrio Noir, and a raw crime story that unapologetically incorporates the ghosts, language, and traditions of the people it honors. It is also a compelling, revenge fantasy with a deadly twist, one that readers will be unable to forget.
VERDICT The violence is brutal and graphic, but the story is also lyrical and staggeringly beautiful. It is an entertaining and thought-provoking book about human truths and the monsters at their core. Suggest to fans of S. A. Cosby and Stephen Graham Jones, who also write stories told by marginalized, sympathetic, and complicated characters in which every detail matters.
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