Night Train to Marrakech
by Dinah Jefferies
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 19 Dec 2023
Harper 360, HarperCollins
Clemence Petier lives in a kasbah high in the Atlas Mountains, where she guards her secrets closely. Cautious about the arrival of an unknown granddaughter from France, she is rocked by the reappearance of an unwelcome face from her childhood—a face that threatens her very identity and freedom.
When Vicky’s cousin Bea joins her from London, the two girls throw themselves into Morocco’s wild and glamorous party scene: Marrakech is a cosmopolitan magnet for hedonists and creatives, the Gettys and famous rock stars and artists. But when a terrible murder takes place, and then Bea goes missing, Vicky must turn to her grandmother for urgent help—before they are all put at risk. Yet Clemence has her own dark secret that must stay hidden…
The third in the Daughters of War trilogy, this gripping, page-turning and dramatic novel brings the color, atmosphere and sun-baked walls of 1960s Marrakech vividly to life—and the wild arid desert and mountains that surround it.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
I love Dinah Jefferies. No one captures the past the way she can. After the implosion of her love life, Vicky is off on a search for the designer, Yves, Saint Laurent, hoping she can also get information about the grandmother, who gave her father up for adoption years before. She finds her grandmother in a Casbah in the Atlas Mountains, but the woman has no desire to share her past with this unknown granddaughter. Vicky’s cousin, Bea joins her in Morocco, and the two have a wild and crazy time, but then there was a murder, and Bea disappears. Vicky has no one to turn to except her grandmother, who has secrets that must never see the light of day. Marrakesh in the 1960s brought to vivid and glorious life in the hands of this talented author.
Night Train to Marrakech, the third book in Dinah Jefferies' Daughters of War trilogy, is a captivating journey into 1960s Morocco, combining vivid descriptions of the exotic setting with a gripping narrative. French student Vicky Baudin embarks on a quest to discover the secrets of her mysterious grandmother, Clemence Petier, who lives in a kasbah in the Atlas Mountains. The novel weaves romance, suspense, and family drama against the backdrop of political unrest, immersing the reader in the rich culture and history of Marrakech. While the characters are well-crafted, Vicky's impulsive behavior may not resonate with everyone. Nevertheless, the book serves as a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, connecting the lives of the three sisters from previous books and delivering a satisfying blend of storytelling elements.
Secrets are revealed as danger threatens to destroy the family in this story set in Morocco. This is the 3rd book in a series but I read it as a stand alone and had no trouble understanding and enjoying this.
Vicky is heading to meet the grandmother she never knew before continuing to Paris to finish her fashion education. She is not sure what to expect but her grandmother, Clemence, doesn't seem happy that she is there and installs Vicky in an apartment of a friend in Marrakech and not in her rem0te kasbah. Vicky's cousin Bea joins her and they get caught up in the world of parties. But when an acquaintance goes missing Vicky starts to wonder if Morocco is all that it seems. More incidents have the girls fleeing to the kasbah but is anywhere safe? Clemence is struggling with secrets of her own when someone from her past appears and threatens everything. Will the secrets lead to the destruction of everything and everyone close to Clemence?
Intrigue in Marrakech!
I tried to read this three times. I just wasn’t in the mood and wasn’t connecting to the beginnings of the story. Who was Vicky Baudin and what was the awkwardness of her relationship with her mother Élise? We do know Élise was with the French Resistance as Vicky’s father Victor, who was executed by the Nazis.
Fortunately I pushed through my lethargy, started the book again and finished it with the tang of exotic spices and redolent smells of Marrakech in my nostrils, betrayal and violence baying in the background.
What a tale! From Vicky’s journey to Morocco in 1966 to meet her unknown grandmother, her ambitions to become a fashion designer, her meeting with Yves St Laurence that didn’t go according to plan, the witnessing of a murder, the disappearance of her cousin Bea, and the truth after all these years about her grandmother Clemence Petier, and all that happened to her as a child.
At this time Morocco has gained independence from France, corruption is rife, an acquaintance of Vicky’s, an activist friend who’s writing an expose on Mehdi Ben Barka, an opponent of the government who’d disappeared has been murdered, and the French security forces and CIA are keeping tabs on Moroccan agitators. Political powers are circling.
An exciting thriller set against the exoticness of Marrakech and the cooling foothills of the Atlas Mountains where Clemence resides at the Kasbah du Paradis, as the past comes to meet the present.
A Harper 360 ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)