The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias

 


 

 


 

 

About The Devil Takes You Home:

From Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Locus award-nominated author, Gabino Iglesias, comes a genre-defying thriller about a father desperate to salvage what’s left of his family, even if it means a descent into violence–both supernatural and of our own terrifying world.

Buried in debt due to his young daughter’s illness, his marriage at the brink, Mario reluctantly takes a job as a hitman, surprising himself with his proclivity for violence. After tragedy destroys the life he knew, Mario agrees to one final job: hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. Along with an old friend and a cartel-insider named Juanca, Mario sets off on the near-suicidal mission, which will leave him with either a cool $200,000 or a bullet in the skull. But the path to reward or ruin is never as straight as it seems. As the three complicated men travel through the endless landscape of Texas, across the border and back, their hidden motivations are laid bare alongside nightmarish encounters that defy explanation. One thing is certain: even if Mario makes it out alive, he won’t return the same.

The Devil Takes You Home is a panoramic odyssey for fans of S.A. Cosby’s southern noir, Blacktop Wasteland, by way of the boundary-defying storytelling of Stephen Graham Jones and Sylvia Moreno-Garcia.

 


 

Praise For The Devil Takes You Home:

 

One of Harper’s Bazaar’s Best, Buzziest New Books of 2022
One of Crimereads 16 Horror Novels to Look Out For This Year

“Some nightmares you wake from just leave you in an even worse nightmare. And then Gabino Iglesias holds his hand out from that darkness, takes you home.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS

“Pure noir, overflowing with the rage and sorrow of our times, The Devil Takes You Home is brutal, hallucinatory, and somehow, beautiful. This novel confirms what some of us already knew: Gabino Iglesias is a fierce, vital voice.”
—Paul Tremblay, bestselling author of SURVIVOR SONG

“The Devil Takes You Home begins with pain. Like life, it starts with tears. It ends with transcendence. In between we are treated to some of the finest, most terrifying and heartbreaking writing you will read this year. Gabino Iglesias is like one of the old baroque masters, painting hyper-realistic images directly into your brain. Images that will make you cry, make you gasp, and make you see the world in a new light. The Devil Takes You Home is not to be missed.”
—S.A. Cosby, New York Times-bestselling author of RAZORBLADE TEARS and BLACKTOP WASTELAND

“The Devil Takes You Home is carried by a voice and rhythm, shaving sharp and wholly indelible. Iglesias never fails to keep a masterful foot on the pedal, feathering off the gas at times only to inevitably press it to the floor and pin us to our seats.”
—David Joy, author of WHEN THESE MOUNTAINS BURN

“A ragged-edged bloody bullet-hole of a book — Iglesias has written a dark-hearted tale about the burden of loss, the struggle of poverty, and the long and literal shadow of death.”
—Chuck Wendig, bestselling author of WANDERERS

“An excellent crime novel driven by righteous grief, fierce narration, and raw violence. Iglesias takes us on a vivid exploration of pain and rage, along the Southwest border where the horrors of reality and the supernatural intertwine.”
—John Woods, author of LADY CHEVY

“The line between noir and horror not only gets blurred in Iglesias’s The Devil Takes You Home; it gets obliterated. His barrio noir is a new kind of fiction, profoundly moving, despairing and scary all at once.”
—Brian Evenson, author of LAST DAYS

“The Devil Takes You Home is a wild ride through grief, faith, loss and monstrosity. Gabino Iglesias’s sharp prose and visceral, haunting vision have birthed a riveting novel no reader will soon forget. Fresh and genuinely scary.”
—Tananarive Due, American Book Award-winner author of Ghost Summer and My Soul to Keep, producer of Shudder’s Horror Noire, and UCLA professor of Horror and Afrofuturism

“With a noir voice reminiscent of Jim Thompson, this book charges into rage and despair, sparing no one, least of all the reader. Strap yourself in.”
—Chris Offutt, author of The Killing Hills and Country Dark

“an intoxicating story of a man in desperate financial straits who turns himself into a hitman and accepts a highly dangerous contract on a cartel transport operation. The job takes him and two others across Texas and further into an abyss of violence, existential dread, and paranormal happenings”
—Crimereads

 

Review

There will be conflict within with all the injustice dealt to Mario, with the demons of the past and the present to deal with all the complexities of loss, anger, belief, violence, revenge, vengeance and then fear and guilt and some bruja magic and then there is devil ever present in this concise potent unrelenting in immersive storytelling in for the ride till the deed is done and that something else running through the story that has its time to show.
If you loved to read Don Winslow and Joe Lonsdale stories and now you will love to read one penned by Gabino Iglesias.
A viscerally vivid tale told with crisp dialogue and clear cut meat of the story with wise social commentary and great sentences on what humans deal with wrapped in a pure barrio noir magic tale.
This is just waiting to be adapted into one helluva movie. I hear it is.

 

Excerpts

 

“Leukemia. That’s what the doctor said. She was young, white, and pretty. Her brown hair hung like a curtain over her left eye. She talked to us softly, using the tone most people use to explain things to a child, especially when they think the kid is an idiot. Her mouth opened just enough to let the words flow out. She said our four-year-old daughter had cancer in her blood cells. Our Anita, who waited in the other room, playing with Legos and still wrapped in innocence. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Those strange words were said in a voice that was both impossibly sharp and velvety. Her soft delivery didn’t help. You can wrap a shotgun in flowers, but that doesn’t make the blast less lethal.”

“Dr. Flynn inhaled again and then explained to us that acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer that affects bone marrow and white blood cells. It’s a relatively unexceptional error in the body, the most common childhood cancer.”

“You always say the same thing. We’ll get the money somehow. We’ll make it work. We’ll be okay. I’m tired, Mario. Estoy tan cansada. Every day Anita spends in there, every new treatment and test she gets, adds to the pile of bills. What we have is not enough now and won’t be enough anytime soon. It’s never enough! We’ve been doing our best for so long and we’re still more or less where we started. And now our baby—”

“When you’re poor, getting money occupies your mind at all times anyway, but this was different. We needed a thousand dollars a month just to cover Anita’s meds for the clinical trial, and that didn’t include insurance costs or the back-and-forth visits between our home in Austin and Houston’s med center.”

“Normal people can’t imagine committing a crime, much less killing a person. People who are dead inside are different. Una vez miras a los ojos vacíos de La Huesuda, todo cambia. La muerte recluta soldados sin anunciarse porque su poder es innegable. Besides the money, what Brian gave me that night was a way to make the world pay for hurting mi angelito. I blamed everyone, and now I was getting some revenge. Yeah, any revenge would do. Violence was soothing, a strange balm that made me feel better. The threat of death ruined my life, and in death I hoped to find something like it again.”

“La muerte de Anita mató a Dios en mis ojos. Anita’s death killed my family.
The gigantic sudden nonexistence of a beautiful soul that was supposed to always be there was the universe, y era un universo eternamente negro, triste, y frío. Melisa y yo morimos en vida, and that’s the worst kind of death. It shattered our will to live while stealing from us the strength it’d take to kill ourselves.
We didn’t have anyone to blame, so we blamed everybody, anybody, el maldito universo, el cielo, la tierra, y el mismísimo infierno. We blamed her toys and pollution. We blamed our cell phones and her tablet and the fucking microwave. We blamed God and the food we gave her and the clothes she wore. We blamed the doctors and the machines they used to see inside her and the chemotherapy and the chemicals they pumped into her frail body. We blamed her lazy, alcoholic guardian angel for falling asleep at the wheel and causing a horrendous, irreversible accident. Most important, we blamed each other, and that filled us with a kind of loathing that was as strong as the love we had for our dead daughter. We blamed ourselves, and the pain and guilt that seeped from that wound kept us in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling as the shadows crept up and then started sliding down the walls in the changing light.
Ningún matrimonio sobrevive eso. No one should witness the death of an angel.“

“The thing about poverty is that is obliterates geography; poor people have the same haunted look all across the world. We all share something that makes us part of the same breed regardless of color or language.”

“They tell you that with enough willpower and effort a person can change their essence, alter their mood, transform their reality. They tell you positive thinking is a powerful thing, that praying is sometimes the only solution. That’s all bullshit. Melisa always read self-help and lit more candles at church than anyone else. None of them worked. When our daughter’s life was quickly sucked away by a disease we couldn’t see, our wishing, positive thinking, and endless prayers never did a goddamn thing.
Sometimes things go wrong and there’s nothing you can do about it. And yet, we mostly refuse to give up. Instead, we invent gods to help us push forward. Pain invades us and we find reasons to carry on. Death approaches, bony arms outstretched, and we fight it with that inexplicable desire to keep living.”

“The value of your life is zilch to most people. That’s why they sell you food that will kill you. That’s why they put poison in the water and don’t care if you get cancer. That’s why they allow you to rely on our shitty health system and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage based on a ridiculously long list of preexisting conditions, one of which is probably being alive.”

“Maybe the money would mean a second chance. What people with money don’t understand is that most poor people’s problems can be solved with money. There are problems that won’t go away no matter how many bills you throw at them, but for people like me, for folks whose nightmares have names like hunger and eviction, money is a wonderful thing that can make tribulations disappear in a matter of seconds.”

“The distance between a desperate man and a dead man can be a fistful of dollars.”

“The past is the present trapped in a perpetual echo.
The present is just an amalgamation of everything that preceded it, molded together with memory.
The future is the floating unknown that shifts between nothing and possibility, between death and new beginnings, between uncertainty and hope.
We are the knowing, insignificant fragments of flesh trapped in the space between all three, aware that every sentence we start is made up of a silent half waiting in the future and whatever we just said already an irretrievable chunk of the past.”

“We come into the world fighting, covered in blood and crying, and we go out fighting disease, calamity, age, or exsanguination. The point is we need to fight. Always. Giving up is never an option.”



 

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, professor, and literary critic living in Austin, TX. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novels Zero Saints and Coyote Songs. Iglesias’ nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesElectric Literature, and LitReactor, and his reviews appear regularly in places like NPR, Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, Criminal Element, Mystery Tribune, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He’s been a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards twice and the Millions Tournament of Books, and is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Mystery Writers of America, and the National Book Critics Circle. 

 


 

Lou Pendergrast

Providing some writings and reviews/critic of good reads, interviews on writing with authors, and video advice on writing and self help from authors. With books that don't make the cut, I don't write up a review, and as Stephen King put it nicely recently in a tweet he said: "Someone asked me if there are books/movies/TV shows I DON'T like. There are plenty, but I don't write about them. "Don't say nuthin' if you got nuthin' good to say" is pretty fair advice.

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