An Irish teenager’s Mexican vacation takes a turn for the terrifying.
Having had an encounter with The Loch Ness Monster in the previous episode (2014), Vanessa is no skeptic when it comes to cryptids. But barely has she stepped off the plane in Mexico before a string of strange visions, fainting spells and brushes with oddly behaving people and animals begins…leading to a seeming nightmare that leaves her covered in real blood. Is the supposedly “cursed” ranch she’s staying on haunted by a blood-sucking chupacabra? Vanessa asks all the right questions to elicit both clues and cultural information painlessly. Flitcroft stirs in a quick romance and other subplots along with news reports from throughout Latin America of the legendary creature’s depredations and a suggestion that it may not be a single type of beast but an evil that takes various forms. It’s an undemanding but satisfyingly suspenseful tale that ultimately turns on a malign Nahua shape-shifter and an old murder.
Scary and informative. (Horror. 10-12)