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.
I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC of this novel in return for an honest review.
I have always been a sucker for a well written historical drama, because handled well they can embrace you in times past, closing off current worries. I’m glad to say that An Echo of Scandal did this. Wanting to escape the travesty of Brexit, I was taken back in time and to Tangiers, where we first meet Alejandra, who accused of murder flees to find safety in this exotic city. Then forward we go to meet a young American writer, Sam, who stumbles upon a scandal, that has reverberated through the years.
So why did I enjoy it?
First of course is the story, that manages to flip back and fore between two time periods with ease, creating a flawless dual time narrative. which by the end, comes together and delivers a first class historical mystery. It’s not easy to create a story over years, but Laura Madeline does it with skill and grace. None of the awkward, clumsy moves between periods, which makes it read with ease and turns it into a compulsive read.
I loved the use of cocktail recipes and instructions that often sign posted the changes in period within a chapter. It is both classy and original. I have never seen this before and the author uses it with considerable success. You might be a little drunk if you try them all while reading, but your going to end up with a fantastic group of receipies at the end of this really entertaining read.
It is full of numerous twists and turns that led me down many a wrong turn and then surprised me with yet another revelation I had not seen coming. It is worth the ride because by getting to the end you have read a sumptuous historical novel, with a exciting mystery at it’s very core.
The atmosphere is truly magical. You really feel like your there is Tangier, walking through the grand souk. In one scene I felt encircled by the heady aroma’s and delectable looking food. My head left spinning from the cacophony of voices all around me.
Finally there is of course the characters. It’s hard to discuss Alejandra without giving too much of the story away, but what I can say is she is fascinating. She is everything I love in a female character, not defined by her gender, but brave enough to find her own way if given the chance. Sam is just how I imagine a struggling writer to be, filled with self doubt, searching for his muse, poor, but richer for pursuing his dream, Art is everything to him. As with Alejandra, I wanted him to find a way to success and fulfilment.
Whether he does, whether Alejandra survives and how they are tied together, I will leave for you to find out.
Its worth it!
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