Untamed Shore

Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children. 

Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future. 

When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit. 


“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.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“This insightful look at criminal lifefrom the viewpoint of a sardonic yet lonely soul seems destined for more plaudits.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia jumps into the Noir genre.”

L.A. Review of Books

"Untamed Shore is a fever dream of a thriller, a coming-of-age tale set amidst disturbing and dangerous circumstances."


“Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s UNTAMED SHORE is an engrossing book […] astounding in both its maturity and its cynicism.”

Mystery Scene

“[This] compelling crime debut [...] is a small masterpiece and presages well for Moreno-Garcia if she continues on a criminal path.”

Crime Time

“This is a really good slow-burn suspense novel [...] if you like character driven suspense, and are looking for an interesting setting you’ve probably never read before, definitely pick this one up!”

Book Riot

"[I]t’s measured, thought-provoking and darkly fascinating, the sort of insightful character study that Moreno-Garcia does so well, full of characters who are largely irredeemable but – in spite or perhaps because of this – utterly believable. Psychologically complex and darkly satisfying, it’s an absolutely fascinating, compelling read."

Track of Words

"While it is a slower paced novel, the focus on atmosphere and character development make it a compelling one. Moreno-Garcia once more draws the reader into her Mexico and presents a rich and vivid world."

Grimdark Magazine

"Any fan of Moreno-Garcia should read Untamed Shore confident in another story rich in a sense of place and with well-developed characters."

SF Book Reviews

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues her streak of amazing novels with UNTAMED SHORE. Her writing [...] sets the stage brilliantly and the reader truly can picture the village in Baja. Once you’re in this book, you’re in it. It’s nearly impossible to put down, even when the reader is mentally screaming at Viridinana to not be naive and just walk away.”

Fangirl Nation

"A sizzling and suspenseful crime thriller with a likable, if not a little morally ambiguous, protagonist and a fun backdrop."

The Library Ladies

"This novel was a masterclass in subverting my expectations."

The Book Smugglers

"Weaving suspense, murder, romance, and the throes of young adulthood together, Untamed Shore is a page-turner that will leave you hooked (pun intended) until the very end."

Criminal Element

“The Great Gatsby meets Night of the Iguana in this elegantly spare and darkly twisted story of undercurrents, deception, and colliding cultures.”

Hank Phillipi Ryan

“Atmospheric, compelling, and very suspenseful.”

Alison Gaylin

“UNTAMED SHORE is a masterpiece. I loved this book and can't get Viridiana out of my head.”

Amina Akhtar