Tangier

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 May 2018

Member Reviews

TANGIER

This was a very excellent book. On the wishes of his aging mother, Christopher Chaffee, a disgraced high powered US government official, travels to Tangier in search of the father he has never met. Out of his element, he cannot avoid some serious soul searching. 

In a dual timeline, this adventure alternates with the life 50 years earlier of Rene Laurent, Chaffee's father. Set in WWII, Laurent is a Parisian diplomat who ends up, through the confusion of war, in Tangier.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this book were that the characters were well-developed and realistic. Very flawed but genuine. The descriptions provided by the author of time and place in Tangier were excellent, I really got a feel for what it was like being there during each of the time periods. The plot was intricate but well thought out and clearly presented. The pacing was very good.

But what I thought made this book so outstanding was the tone and subtlety of the author. The humor was dry but fun. The feelings of the characters rang so true. It was very touching.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Stephen Holgate, and Blank Slate Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I would highly recommend it and look forward to reading more works by this author.
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This was a surprisingly good book. I say surprising because nothing prepared me for the very interesting writing. I thought it would be just another of those books set partially in the past and partially in the present. It is one of those books, but a very classy one at that. More than the plot, the twists or the eventual end which would normally have not been my cup of tea, it was the way the story was told. With a flick of certain words, there was an ambience created. You could feel the heat, the wind and the mood of both of the times mentioned. In short, if you do get the chance and have the time do check this one out. 

The story is of disgraced ex-bigshot Chris Chaffee has landed in Tangier with an old letter from his father and a mother's request to confirm if his father is still alive. There is a fifty year gap between the two events but the marks of the past still have their shadow in the present. Chris has struggled with the image of his father in his life, he is unable to come to terms with who he has become and identifying himself is part of the hunt. We see both sides of the tale unfolding simultaneously and it can leave you guessing about which of the outcomes we are sure would be the one.There is the second world war tied up in it, but it is more about the people involved in the story than the war itself.
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Tangier by author Stephen Holgate.
From page one a very good read , just the sort of story I like. American man going through a crisis time of his life begins to search for his origins in Tangier .Looking for information about the french father who went missing early in his life soons finds things arent exactly as he thought. The intrigue which follows throughout the story is I think very much shades of Grahame Greene. I must read more by Stephen Holgate. Given four stars for this ebook
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A well done, taut and engaging read, Tangier kept me turning the pages and ignoring the duty-calls bell. It had so much - flawed characters, mystery, World War II espionage, betrayal, history, culture, period setting, two timelines - in short - the works. And it worked splendidly. The novel is set 55 years apart in Morocco - in 1940 with Rene Laurent and in 1995 with Laurent’s son, Christopher Chaffee. The book opens up with Chaffee on a ferry headed to Tangier. A fallen U.S. government director caught falsifying his expense reports, we immediately witness the flawed character that he is - caught up in his own hubris and complacency thinking he was untouchable. Then he comes crashing down to earth on the work and personal fronts. Having always been told that his French diplomat father had died in a Vichy prison during World War II, he is confronted by the startling news that his father may still be alive - in Morocco. As his career abruptly shuts down and his mother pleads with him to follow the Moroccan trail, Chaffee heads to modern-day Morocco to reassess his life and search for his father. A fast rewind back to the summer of 1940 - and we meet Chaffee’s father, Rene Laurent on a ferry headed to Tangier…A French diplomat, he escapes to Morocco hoping to regroup with loyal French colleagues as France is overrun by the Germans and now in the hands of the Vichy government. But Rene is caught in the harsh realities of political intricacies, tangled webs and espionage games. Soon he is torn between the tide that is carrying him towards disastrous survival (of course a woman is involved) on one hand and the integrity he wants to cling to in order to stay true to himself on the other. Alongside the many intriguing characters are the locales of Tangier and Asilah. Both are mysterious, foreign and different to father and son. They both have to operate in unknown and uncertain environments, rely on their instincts and make quick decisions with little information and few facts. This all makes for a fast-paced, well-done and absorbing read from first-time novelist Stephen Holgate, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend! Many thanks to NetGalley for the read.
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I like how Tangier captured the atmosphere of North Africa, both in modern times and in the  confusion of World War II.  The storytelling is solid.  A disgraced American bureaucrat gets information about his father who may still be alive in Morocco.  The son decides to try to track down the story, and finds himself in a tangle as confusing as the streets of the Medina.   Holgate smoothly takes us back and forth between the two times and carefully ties off the loose ends of the story.
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