This surreal borderland genrebender follows the violent journey of one man trying to hold his family together.
Good to know
Drug & alcohol use
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.
Why I love it
David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Author, Winter Counts
The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias is one of the wildest rides I’ve ever taken as a reader. The book incorporates brilliant, hallucinogenic imagery along with truly unforgettable characters and a plot that will keep you awake long past your bedtime. It’s alternately thrilling, terrifying, and heartbreaking. It’s safe to say that there’s no other novel quite like it—I’m still thinking about the book months after I finished reading it.
The novel tells the story of Mario, a desperate man facing insurmountable medical bills due to his young daughter’s diagnosis of cancer. Having nowhere else to turn, he contacts an old friend, who arranges a murder-for-hire, which Mario accomplishes, although with some unexpected consequences. Mario then accepts a deadly mission with little chance of success: stealing a massive sum of money from a Mexican cartel. It’s not fair to reveal what happens next, but there are a few scenes in the book that I’ll never forget.
The Devil Takes You Home is part thriller and part horror, but labels don’t matter with a novel like this. It’s a brutal and beautiful book that reveals some uncomfortable truths about modern society, racism, and the struggle of working people in contemporary America. But most of all, it’s a great story with complicated and compelling characters. I loved it and know you will too.