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

She is deeply envious of her neighbour, a beautiful art student apparently living the life of excitement and intrigue Maite craves – so when Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman, journeying deep into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.

But someone else is also looking for Leonora, at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: he loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ‘n’ roll. Watching Maite from a distance, he comes to see her as a kindred spirit who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.

As Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the dangers threatening to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents and Russian spies all aiming to find or protect Leonora’s secrets – at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night: an edgy, simmering historical novel for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes.

Reviews

A genre-jumping wizard, one of the most exciting and necessary authors writing today
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS, award-winning author of The City in the Middle of the Night
A chameleon writer with incredible writing skills
KIRKUS
Moreno-Garcia keeps the suspense high and the action intense, all while sharing a bit of 1970s Mexican history in this perfectly pitched novel. Fans of Moreno-Garcia's other novels will relish this title, as will noir aficionados and readers who like stories about everymen - and women - rising to the occasion
LIBRARY JOURNAL (Starred Review) on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Moreno-Garcia, the author of acclaimed and bestselling speculative novels, including Mexican Gothic (2020), returns to noir crime fiction with a winner that brings together a romance-fiction obsessed secretary and a lovelorn enforcer during the brutally suppressed student riots in 1970s Mexico City. Their stories of danger and passion run side by side in an enveloping narrative that is at once dark and bright. Despite their failings, readers will be rooting for them and hoping they find some happiness, and, maybe, even, each other.
BOOKLIST (Starred Review) on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Velvet Was the Night cements Silvia Moreno-Garcia's incredible versatility as an amazing writer who moves between genres effortlessly. A lush, magnificent trip into a world of danger and discovery. Not to be missed!
S.A. COSBY, Anthony Award-winning author of BLACKTOP WASTELAND and RAZORBLADE TEARS, on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Velvet Was the Night is a rollicking work of historical noir with a vivid sense of time and place and an unforgettable cast. Moreno-Garcia made me care deeply about her characters and their dangerous, riveting misadventures. This is a stylish, hard-boiled novel painted in shades of grey with a whole lot of heart.
STEPH CHA, author of YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes you into the gritty underworld noir of 1970s Mexico City with a propulsive read where no one and nothing is as it seems.
ISABELLA MALDONADO, bestselling author of THE CIPHER, on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Velvet Was The Night is a treat to be savoured, a dizzying combination of American and Mexican Noir written in the most individual of voices.
BARRY FORSHAW, Financial Times, on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
It's hard to describe how much fun this novel is - Moreno-Garcia, whose Mexican Gothic (2020) gripped readers last year, proves to be just as good at noir as she is at horror. The novel features memorable characters, taut pacing, an intricate plot, and antiheroes you can't help but root for. A noir masterpiece.
KIRKUS (Starred Review), on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
A rich novel with an engrossing plot, distinctive characters, and a pleasing touch of romance. Readers won't be able to put it down.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, (Starred Review), on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
Velvet Was the Night is a delicious, twisted treat for lovers of noir. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a who pulls you into her dark world and never lets you go. From the suspenseful, slow-burn plot to the crisp, desperate characters, you will be obsessed.
SIMONE ST. JAMES, New York Times-bestselling author of THE SUN DOWN MOTEL, on VELVET WAS THE NIGHT
You'll be pulled into the tale with spies, romance, danger and rock 'n' roll
NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE
Sexy and simmering
E! ONLINE
Pacy enough to keep you hooked - as it reaches its climax, so will your heart rate
Cosmopolitan
A page-turning read full of colour and action
THE INDEPENDENT
Within this rich world and character is a tense thriller that builds as the book reaches its climax... touches of John Le Carre espionage
SFBOOK REVIEWS
An evocative historical crime noir that quietly simmers with underlying danger and suspense
CULTUREFLY
An enthralling tale that's as fun as it is mysterious... The characters are fascinating, the tone lush and romantic, and it's all wrapped up in a mystery with twists and turns one likely won't see coming... [Silvia Moreno-Garcia is] the sort of author whose works automatically end up on your 'must read' list
USA TODAY
An absolute flex...[Velvet Was The Night] left me marveling at what kind of sorceress Moreno-Garcia must be as she reworks genre after genre, weaving in Mexican history and culture, satisfying familiar cravings without resorting to mere pastiche. The most tantalizing suspense of all comes with wondering what she'll do next
SLATE
The author's previous novel, Mexican Gothic, turned the screw on the traditional ghost story; here she gleefully pries hard-boiled noir from the cold, white hands of Chandler and Hammett
OPRAH DAILY
An adrenalized, darkly romantic journey
THE WASHINGTON POST
Moreno-Garcia has written a note-perfect noir, complete with rainy nights and harsh shadows, crackly records and lingering cigarette smoke... a delectable feast of a story
THE TORONTO STAR
With deft plotting and lush scene-setting (and more than a little romance!), Velvet Was the Night is an edgy noir that is as escapist as it is politically provocative
PLOUGHSHARES
Through precise, accessible yet poetic prose, these characters instantly come alive, and when they begin venturing into Mexico City's darker corners, we are eager to follow them. The result is another triumph for one of genre fiction's brightest voices
BookPage
Moreno-Garcia proves her prowess as a historical fiction powerhouse again
BUZZFEED
Brutal, stylish, and infused with the passions of the times, Velvet Was the Night is a perfect political thriller
CRIMEREADS
Moreno-Garcia breaks the Latinx stereotypes of the poor immigrant, the sexy Latina, or the delinquent in the media by providing a microscopic examination of the characters in this noir novel... At its core, Velvet Was the Night is a novel about the clashes of Mexico's political and cultural landscape of the '70s. Moreno-Garcia uses the tropes of a romance novel juxtaposed with noir to create dissonance, just like how the student protests created ripples in Mexico that still reverberate to this very day
ELECTRIC LITERATURE
[Velvet was the Night] does more than just give a taste of the noir we all know and love; it brings to light the cruelty and fear present for those living in 1970s Mexico City, giving the reader a glimpse of how suppression of civil rights and fear of the government can lead an innocent woman into the scariest days of her life... maybe you read Velvet Was the Night for the romantic plot or its modern take on noir fiction, but you'll walk away with a memorable snapshot of an ordinary Mexican citizen's life during the political unrest of the 1970s
BOOKTRIB
[A] riveting neo-noir thriller
BOOKRIOT
Moreno-Garcia's characters always feel like real people that could walk through the door at any moment. You learn so much about their likes and dislikes, flaws and perfections, that by the time you reach the last page you mourn the profound loss of their voices on the page
YOUR MONEY GEEK
A dazzling noir
POPSUGAR
[A] can't-miss follow-up to Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic
HARPERS BAZAAR