We have three copies of What You See in the Dark to give away. To enter, just leave a comment here on or our Facebook page letting us know which Hitchcock movie you love most and why. Haven’t seen a Hitchcock movie? Go out and rent Psycho IMMEDIATELY.
For more Muñoz, catch him on his Spring 2011 Book Tour, pick up a collection of his short stories, watch the What You See in the Dark trailer below, and read the stellar pre-pub reviews at bottom of this post.
About the book:
Bakersfield, California, in the late 1950s is a dusty, quiet town too far from Los Angeles to share that city’s energy yet close enough to Hollywood to fill its citizens with the kinds of dreams they discover in the darkness of the movie theater. For Teresa, a young, aspiring singer who works at a shoe store, dreams lie in the music her mother shared with her, plaintive songs of love and longing. In Dan Watson, the most desirable young man in Bakersfield, she believes she has found someone to help her realize those dreams.
When a famous actress arrives from Hollywood with a great and already legendary director, local gossip about Teresa and Dan gives way to speculation about the celebrated visitors, there to work on what will become an iconic, groundbreaking film of madness and murder at a roadside motel. No one anticipates how the ill-fated love affair between Dan and Teresa will soon rival anything the director could ever put on the screen.
Praise for What You See in the Dark:
“A performance in literary night vision … Drawing on tremendous empathy and an exacting eye for detail, Muñoz conjures up a vanished era in which the people nevertheless feel indelibly real. Through a small cast of characters, he gives the reader an intimate look into dark places both literal and metaphorical … Muñoz’s lean, graceful prose, shot through with quiet bursts of poetry, enlivens every page.”—AARP VIVA
“[A] stellar first novel … The author brilliantly presents the Actress’s inner thoughts, while he handles the violence with a subtlety worthy of Hitchcock himself. The lyrical prose and sensitive portrayal of the crime’s ripple effect in the small community elevate this far beyond the typical noir.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Muñoz (The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, 2007) has hit upon a killer premise: the making of Psycho (with appearances by the “actress” and the “director”) set against the real-life murder of a young Latina singer in Bakersfield … Muñoz expertly evokes the way quiet desperation can explode into life-altering violence.”—Booklist
“What You See in the Dark strikes emotional chords so deep and with such precision, it almost makes you believe you’ve discovered a new art form.”—Austin Chronicle
A “refreshingly innovative first novel … Muñoz has upended the conventional crime novel, lauding a cinematic master while downplaying his own crime scene and concentrating on a secondary victim. Nice work.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Manuel Muñoz’s vividly suspenseful first novel is a fine blend of Hitchcock’s chilly elegance with the sordid passions of James M. Cain: a dark, intimate, heartbreaking tale about four very different women, each one longing to escape the confines of her everyday life through the romantic illusions concocted by Hollywood. Their voices will haunt me for some time to come.”—Julia Glass, author of The Widower’s Tale and Three Junes
“Manuel Munoz has written a novel that is gripping to read and illuminating in what it says. What You See in the Dark begins with a sweet romance and a dark surprise, as it traces the winding path of violence in our dreamy American longings. How beautifully the pieces of this book fit together, and how radiantly original it is.” —Joan Silber, author of Household Words and Ideas of Heaven