“Tangier and Lucy were the same, I thought. Both unsolvable riddles that refused to leave me in peace…”
Author: Christine Mangan
Publisher: Ecco (March 27, 2018)
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense
For Fans Of:
Slow burns, cinematic settings, vintage glam, and old school suspense with shades of Patricia Highsmith or Alfred Hitchcock, as seen in Rebecca, The Visitors, Black Rabbit Hall, or Strangers on a Train.
Tangerine is a tension building exploration of the relationship between Alice and Lucy, (codependents extraordinaire). I LOVED the setting – the author did a great job of making you feel like you had plopped right down at the outdoor market, in the tropical heat of a Morocco afternoon. The ambiance is pure Old Hollywood glamour and Alfred Hitchcock calculated suspense.
I love ripping through a raging page-turner, but I also have a supreme appreciation for the slow-burn. THIS IS A SLOW BURN. You will not be handed shock scenes or blindsided by plot twists in an effort to keep the pace moving, here. If you’re looking for the next “Girl on the Train” (how many more times will we hear that, really?) this is not it. This is an eerie, unsettling, psychological game.
The entire story played out in grainy black and white in my head while I read it – pure Hitchcock. In fact, I kept mentally comparing it to Rebecca – with naïve, helpless Alice as Madame de Winter, Alice’s husband John as misogynistic and condescending Maxim, and crazypants Lucy as Mrs. Danvers (only younger, and with more makeup and malice). It was THAT kind of creepy vibe. I loved the stylistic choices the author made – from the Bakelite phones, to the expat lifestyle, to the dialogue – everything served to evoke the time period and atmosphere.
Now, let’s talk the ending. I won’t spoil it. I will say it took a lot of guts to write it the way the author did. It was a big risk, and one that I think will earn her a lot of angst, but still, it was incredibly ballsy.
I can’t say that I liked the way it ended, but I completely admire the author for stepping out and wrapping things up the way she did. I’m totally calling myself a hypocrite here, because I ALWAYS harp on books that shy away from messy endings, instead choosing to tie things up too neatly at the end, with everyone getting the most perfect of happy endings. But, even with that said, I do wish things had ended up a little different for Alice and Lucy. You’ll have to read it and tell me what you think!!
This book will not be for everyone, but it worked for me!