by Christine Mangan
Publication Date : March 27, 2018
Pages : 320
Synopsis from Publisher:
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
When I started Tangerine, I had no expectations. I read some reviews, one in particular comparing the author Christine Mangan to Daphne du Maurier (author of Rebecca, one of my favorite books of all time and the inspiration behind my book blog), so I was very curious. After reading Tangerine, I understand the comparison and I agree completely. Tangerine is a chilling and haunting tale of obsession and manipulation, which will thrill and delight fans of Daphne du Maurier and readers searching for a classic suspense read.
When Lucy Mason knocks on Alice Shipley’s door, Alice is shocked. Now living with her husband in Tangier, Alice was sure she would never see Lucy again. Alice remains traumatized and haunted by the event which took place one year ago in Vermont. One year ago, Lucy and Alice were roommates in college and the best of friends. After the event, they went their separate ways and have not spoken since. Not feeling completely settled into her new life in Tangier, Alice pushes aside her hesitations and lets Lucy back into her home and life. Soon a familiar pattern emerges. Alice begins to feel overwhelmed and controlled by Lucy. When Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, Alice grows suspicious of Lucy and the reason for her visit to Tangier.
Tangier is as much a main character in Tangerine as Alice and Lucy. Mangan illustrates vivid and atmospheric images of a country on the brink of independence. Descriptions of crowded streets, constant noise, and the oppressive heat allow the reader to fully experience Tangier. Mangan captures the energy and excitement which lingers in the air of Tangier while also describing its darker side. Even though the story takes place in a city consumed in sunshine and heat, readers will still sense danger just beneath the surface.
Alice and Lucy’s relationship is at the core of Tangerine. Alice, an introvert, quiet and comfortable being in the background is a sharp contrast to Lucy, who is outgoing and inquisitive. However they have bonded because of their similar childhood experiences. Although their relationship while in college was strong, their primary feelings towards each other are based on envy and resentment. These feelings manifest themselves in unhealthy ways and seem to bring out the worse in them both. Alice retreating further into herself while Lucy becomes overbearing. I found this contrast so interesting but I could also see the potential for conflict. Alice describes their friendship as lonely and one-sided while Lucy is completely content.
Lucy is a very intriguing character. Mangan provides some background on Lucy but for the most part she is a mystery. Lucy’s power of manipulation and her ability to constantly be one step ahead of everyone was the most compelling element of Tangerine. She is cunning and able to adjust her schemes at a moments notice. While she is the villain of the story I was very drawn to her. I could not wait to see what her next trick would be. I imagine Lucy as a younger Rebecca de Winter.
I found Alice very frustrating at times, what I found most frustrating was her inability to trust her instincts. Alice has long held reservations about her friendship with Lucy and suspects she had a hand in the tragic event that occurred while they were in college. Lucy displayed signs of being a disturbed individual but, Alice desperate for a friendship ignored these signs.
Overall I found Tangerine fresh, mesmerizing, and filled with mystique. Mangan has a created a classic suspense tale in a modern time which stays true to everything I love about psychological suspense and crime fiction. Readers looking for a classic psychological suspense should add Tangerine to their list of must reads.
**Thanks to Ecco for my free copy of Tangerine**
Murder and Moore Rating:
5 out of 5 Stars