'Girl on a Train meets The Talented Mr Ripley under the Moroccan sun. Unputdownable' The Times
The perfect read for fans of Daphne du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith, set in 1950s Morocco, Tangerine is a gripping psychological literary thriller.
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right.
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.
Tangerine is an extraordinary debut, so tightly wound, so evocative of 1950s Tangier, and so cleverly plotted that it will leave you absolutely breathless.
The spirit of Patricia Highsmith's sociopathic social climber Tom Ripley is alive in Mangan's transportive debut. Alice Shipley and Lucy Mason met as freshman at Bennington in the early 1950s and became the best of friends. Now, after a year apart, they meet again in 1956 in Tangier, where Alice and her new husband, John McAllister, have moved for his job. Alice doesn't especially enjoy living in Tangier, which is too foreign for her liking. Lucy, meanwhile, revels in the raffish individuals found in the souk. A suspected dalliance by John paves the way for Lucy to reassert her position with the emotionally fragile and easy-to-manipulate Alice. At the same time, the story flashes back to the girls' passionate friendship at Bennington, where they were inseparable until Tom, a drama student from Williams, came between them. A tragedy ultimately broke their friendship, and there is every indication that another accident of some kind will occur in Tangier; the twisted history of this relationship seems fated to repeat itself. Although some of the plot developments are easy to predict, the novel is narrated persuasively in alternating chapters by Alice and Lucy, and Mangan's portrayal of Tangier is electric. This sharp novel reads like Single White Female rewritten as a collaboration between Paul Bowles and Mary McCarthy.