Canas, Isabel .
A naïve young woman marries a man she barely knows to finally secure a home of her own. Her new husband drops her off at his isolated family home and then promptly departs, leaving her at the mercy of the estate’s unwelcoming inhabitants – both living and dead. Haunted by frightening visions, our heroine turns to the the local hot priest (who happens to have a background in witchcraft) to help her exorcise the evil lurking in her new home. ‘The Hacienda’ is already one of my favourite books of the year. I love a gothic romance, and this is as spooky and compulsively readable as they come. Not only does Cañas render brilliantly the setting of 1820s Mexico, she also nails the creepy, insidious atmosphere of the title hacienda. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction who don't mind fiction-induced nightmares.
Jessica Sheff (Preston Library)