Baja California, 1979: Viridiana spends her days under the harsh sun, watching the fishermen pulling in their nets and the dead sharks piled beside the seashore. Her head is filled with dreams of romance, travel and of a future beyond this drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.
When a wealthy American writer arrives with his wife and brother-in-law, Viridiana jumps at the offer of a job as his assistant, and she’s soon entangled in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from her humdrum life. When one of them dies, eager to protect her new friends, Viridiana lies – but soon enough, someone’s asking questions. It’s not long before Viridiana has some of her own questions about the identities of her new acquaintances.
Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naive young woman unwittingly entangled in a web of deceit.
‘The descriptions of Baja are uncommonly evocative of gritty reality, with poverty and desperation made plain on the page, as well as the lengths people are willing to go to in order to escape… (an) insightful look at criminal life from the viewpoint of a sardonic yet lonely soul seems destined for more plaudits’ – Booklist
‘From seemingly innocuous events in this masterful crime debut from Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The period detail is fantastic, the Mexican setting vibrant and fresh, and the noir is as murky as seawater after a shark-feeding frenzy. I loved it!’ – Lavie Tidhar
‘This thriller sets a quiet tone before building slowly and evenly, showing how a meek teenager trapped by circumstance grows into a strong woman who takes control of her future, though in the end it might change who she is’ – Library Journal
‘Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a wonderfully evocative writer, and she uses her skills to their best advantage in her first book of crime fiction. Atmospheric, compelling and very suspenseful, Untamed Shore is a welcome addition to the genre’ – Alison Gaylin