From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Moment and Five Days comes a “completely absorbing and atmospheric” (Philip Kerr) novel about a woman whose husband disappears without a trace amidst the stunning, labyrinthine world of Morocco.
Robin knew Paul wasn’t perfect. But he said they were so lucky to have found each other, and she believed it was true. When he suggests a month in Morocco—where he once lived and worked, a place where the modern meets the medieval—Robin reluctantly agrees.
Once immersed into the swirling, white-hot exotica of a walled city on the North African Atlantic coast, Robin finds herself acclimatizing to its wonderful strangeness. Paul is everything she wants him to be—passionate, talented, knowledgeable. She is convinced that it is here that she will finally become pregnant.
But then Paul suddenly disappears, and Robin finds herself the prime suspect in the police inquiry. As her understanding of the truth starts to unravel, Robin lurches from the crumbling art deco of Casablanca to the daunting Sahara, caught in an increasingly terrifying spiral from which there is no easy escape.
For fans of thought-provoking page-turners such as The Talented Mr. Ripley, Douglas Kennedy’s The Blue Hour is a roller-coaster journey into a heart of darkness that asks the question: What would you do if your life depended on it?
In Kennedy's (Five Days) melodramatic yet highly entertaining novel, a woman on vacation in Morocco learns that her husband has deceived her in a shocking way. Successful accountant Robin Danvers, after a failed first marriage, hopes she's finally found love and the possibility of parenthood when she meets the wildly talented, passionate artist Paul Leuen. Early in their marriage, his frivolous way with money causes friction, but a romantic trip to Morocco seems just the thing to strengthen their relationship, and maybe they'll conceive a child. When Robin discovers a profound betrayal by Paul, she leaves their hotel without confronting him, only to return to a ransacked room, blood on the wall, and Paul nowhere in sight, putting her at the center of a police inquiry. Kennedy effectively captures the wonders and the darkness of Morocco while propelling Robin on a fraught, dangerous journey filled with increasingly disturbing discoveries of Paul's many secrets. Though there are a few over-the-top moments, the story of a woman who must reconcile her intense love for a man who wasn't who he appeared to be, while finding her own strength, is an expertly painted one.
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Hard book to finish!
The Blue Hour by Douglas Kennedy is strange novel (keep reading). Robin (they never mentioned her last name) has been married for three years to Paul Leuen. Paul is an artist and a professor at a local university in Buffalo, New York. He has surprised Robin with a trip to Morocco (Casablanca). Paul is eighteen years her senior (Robin is an accountant). Robin was drawn to Paul because of his charm and how it reminded her of her father (whom she loved though he was very flawed). They arrive in Casablanca and Paul immediately decides to change plans. He puts them on a bus and they head for Essaouira. After Robin straightens out a reservation error, they start their vacation. But then Robin finds out that Paul has not been honest with her (about many important things). After a fight, she goes for a walk on the beach (to cool off and decide what to do) and returns to find blood in their room. Paul is nowhere to be found. The police are called and Robin becomes the number one suspect. Robin sets out to find her Paul (and it will not be an easy journey) and clear her name.
I think it had a mixed identity. It did not know whether to be a romance novel or a mystery novel (and the two did not combine well in this novel). The one thing I learned from this novel was never travel to Morocco. The Blue Hour contains graphic violence, sex, and foul language. Robin and Paul are very unlikeable characters. Paul was extremely selfish, neurotic, and self-indulgent. The more I got to know Paul, the less I liked him. The pace in this novel was so slow (I think snails move faster). The basic idea was good, but not the final product. I would explain the strange part, but that would be a spoiler. I give The Blue Hour 2 out of 5 stars. I was not the right reader for this book. I had trouble finishing this book (I really did not want to).
I received a complimentary copy of The Blue Hour from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.