This book is only the second psychological thriller I ever read! Yet I really really liked it. Perhaps it is the charm of a vibrant and familiar setting in Tangier; or the brilliant unexpected turnarounds showing the author’s mastery of suspense. The story unfolds with the arrival of Alice and her husband in Tangier: an arrival filled with mixed feelings about what they left behind and the foreignness of new beginnings. As soon as they arrived, we as readers can feel how easy it is for her husband to adjust given his ever-increasing love for the city. Alice, however, does not appreciate the busy crowds filling the streets, the cultural shock she faces when confronting the Moroccan culture and the hot, stifling atmosphere of her surroundings. However, Alice makes it clear very quickly that the overarching factor behind her lack of fulfillment and appreciation for her new life is undoubtedly engrained in the events of that night changing her life forever.
The word that is stressed many times, building our excitement and apprehension all at once for what seems to be the core element stitching the story. Little by little, some informative but not too revealing flashbacks help us connect the dots to understand the importance of past people in her life and the underlying events they are associated to. Amongst those people is Lucy, a very intriguing and strange person who seems to hold Alice’s life together even from afar. She came all the way from New York to live in Tangier and follow the footsteps of Alice in an attempt to reconcile their broken, tangled past. Her arrival unsettles everything Alice and her husband started to build in favor of disturbing memories, conflictual relationships and the discovery of many life-changing secrets.
It is very hard to write a review on this book without spoiling it as the discovery of what happened on that night sets the tone for the rest of the story. I definitely liked the thorough and captivating descriptions of Tangier which almost made me feel like the author lived there on her own to be able to account for so many details. I must admit that the characters were so strange that it sometimes felt unsettling but the story would not be what it is without this very puzzling aspect. I read the book in three days and had I not had other commitments it could have been less for how easily the story transported me into Alice and Lucy’s world. It was truly surprising to realize that this was the debut book of Christine Megan!
On the one hand, some parts of the story made me feel angry! It might be surprising but it was actually because of the frustrating acts of some characters. On the other hand, my empathy muscle was definitely stretched for some moments were very emotional. All in all, this is a great read that I highly recommend! Don’t be discouraged by the genre, it can feel weird to hear “psychological thriller” at first, but I did like it even though it is not the most significant genre on my bookshelf.