The sumptuous and seductive world of Tangier in the early 20th century is a world where men make decisions and women follow. But Alejandra is determined to secure her independence, at any cost.
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.
By: Laura Madeleine
Published By: Black Swan, Imprint of Penguin/RandomHouse UK
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Format: Paperback Original
So if you take the creepy factor out of The Talented Mr.Ripley and mix that with elements of The Great Gatsby, such as the suave partying and learning gentleman ways, and amazing female characters, then you end up with An Echo of Scandal.
It was a really a unique read in a lot of ways.
Ale has such a different existence, she’s morally grey but not because she makes necessarily questionable decisions because she wants to, but because she comes from the sort of upbringing where options are limited to her.
And who wouldn’t give a chance to have freedom, to have more options than your gender and class allow you?
Ale sees an opportunity and seizes it.
While she’s living in a time long past, in 1978 an aspiring writer, Sam, has found hints of her life, of a mysterious A and pursues the truth. He wants to know her story as it inspires him to write as nothing else has since his travels started.
Then Madeleine proceeds to take the reader on this wild journey. Ale found her way into the glamorous lifestyle but she’s holding onto the secrets of her past and you feel it’s only a matter of time before her past catches up with her.
Ale was intriguing and I loved watching her navigate the world as well as find herself getting closer to people while attempting to guard herself still.
The twist of the story was surprising, you could feel there was going to be a twist, but, finding out what it was, well, it was satisfying even if surprising. It made the ending pretty brilliant if I do say so myself.
Hilde was probably my favourite character though I did love Ale, and Sam, as he tries to find out her story, was quick to grow on me.
I don’t want to give more away, but, if you enjoy historical fiction with parallel stories from 1928 and 1978, [though they will converge, I will say this much, just not how and when] with a mystery thrown into the mix, I offer up this book as my recommendation.
Seriously, I really did enjoy this book, and though I thought it would be a slow read, once you really get into the mystery, you don’t want to put it down. Four cups of coffee!
Thank you to Anne and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the Author
After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge.
She now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom.
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