An Echo Of Scandal is a dual time novel set mainly in Tangier.
It is 1978 and Sam is a destitute American who has been drifting through Western Europe and is now in Tangier. He plays at writing but he cannot find his muse, until he buys an old writing case. It leads him on a colourful journey through Tangier, both past and present as the reader is beguiled by the mysticism of the city that is a gateway between continents.
The second story, from 1928, begins in Spain. Ale is an orphan who lives in a brothel where she is taught how to make wonderful dishes from meagre ingredients. When she is accused of murder, though, no one helps her and she is forced to run away. Disguising herself as a man, to make travelling safer, she makes her way to Tangier, a multinational city, in the hope of re-inventing her life.
I really enjoyed the clear images of the people and the settings in this book. I could feel the heat, smell the food and see the bright colours in Tangier. Both stories drew me in to the plight of the characters and I liked how the two stories came together. The pace suited the lifestyle as Sam teased out Ale’s story with all its twists and turns, while I thought the ending left just enough questions which kept me thinking about it for several days.
Overall a good atmospheric mystery, especially for anyone with an interest in this era or in Tangier.
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In the dead of night, with blood on her hands, she made her escape.
Accused of murder, Alejandra flees her home, escaping to the southern edge of Spain, where she faces a life of poverty and destitution.
Seduced by the power of the rich and the anonymity that waits across the water in Tangier, Ale makes a bid for a new start. But it will come at a cost: a life of deception. Because Ale’s new friends want to know what she is running from, they want to know who she is and whether they can trust her.
Fifty years later, a young American writer wanders the streets of Tangier, searching for inspiration. When he stumbles across a trace of Ale’s life, he finds himself tangled in a story of scandal, love and danger that has not yet reached its end.
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