Saturday 24 June 2023

Book Review: Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Thriller)

Title: Silver Nitrate
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: 18 July 2023
Pages: 336
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Thriller
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.

Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.

Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.


Silver Nitrate was an enjoyable fantasy-horror thriller. It has a slow-burn start, but by the midway point the pace increases as events begin to spiral out of control. I enjoyed the blend of genres in the book. The characters were all well drawn and compelling, and the plot held my interest throughout. This is one for film buffs, as in many ways it is a homage to movies, especially B-grade horror. Silvia Moreno-Garcia's prose is as easy reading as always, atmospheric at times with excellent world building as the fantasy elements begin to creep into the narrative. It gets 4.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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