Unfortunately this did not live up to the hype for me, though think some of this came down to listening to it as an audiobook. The premise of the book really appealed to me – two estranged friends (Alice and Lucy) reconnecting in Tangier, with a missing husband and returning suspicions thrown into the mix. It has also been optioned for a film adaptation by George Clooney (starring Scarlett Johannson) which also intrigued me.
The novel is told in alternating chapters, from the perspectives of the two ‘friends,’ Lucy and Alice. While it initially helped having two different narrators for the chapters to set up the plot, overall I found the story took me a while to really get into rhythm with (in fairness to the author, this was perhaps unassisted by my listening to it as an audiobook!). Towards the very end of the novel I realised that I was particularly struggling to connect with Alice’s chapters, perhaps due to how it’d been narrated.
In terms of the plot itself, I found the first half paced quite slowly, though did enjoy the cleverly written (and psychological!) twists and significant increase in tempo in the latter part of the novel. While this is not dissimilar to many books in this genre, I think more suspense could have been written in earlier on in the story to pique the reader’s interest.
I look forward to reading future releases by Mangan, but will read in written rather than audio format next time.