Page Count 320
Publication date August 2022
Publisher Headline, Wildfire
-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.
I discovered Gabino on twitter and had been planning to read his work for some time, so I jumped for the ARC of The Devil Takes You Home.
This novel is brutal in all possible ways. A clever blending of genres sees three broken men; a gangster, a bereaved father and a junkie, take on a Mexican cartel for money and guns. But there are more than just humans to fear on this journey.
I really enjoyed the horror elements woven into The Devil Takes You Home. Religion, voodoo and monsters feature in an adrenaline fueled ride through grief, racism, poverty and addiction.
The pace slowed down for me occasionally when Juanca spent pages discussing his views and although you can understand the story without pausing to translate, there are frequent paragraphs of dialogue in Spanish.
I would have like a little more of the supernatural and thought the ending was a bit cliché, but an otherwise enjoyable read.