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Christine Mangan Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Tangerine (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Christine Mangan is an author of crime novel famously known for her debut novel Tangerine published in 2018. Mangan holds a Ph.D. degree in English from the University College Dublin where the major topic of her thesis focused on 18th-century Gothic literature. The author also holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine.

Tangerine

Tangerine is the debut novel by Christine Mangan. In the contemporary world, every debut crime book comes along that is so vividly imagined and technically sound, you can hardly believe that the author has never published a novel before, and Tangerine is such a read. This indefectible suspense book sets a worthy plot reading. Gripping, maddening, and enchanting is just how any avid crime book reader would describe this book. It is a razor-sharp depiction of manipulation and obsession set against the cinematic scenery. The film rights for Christine Mangan’s debut novel have already been acquired by George Clooney’s of the Smokehouse Pictures, and it shall soon be built for the big screen viewing. In a story filled with simmering heat & haze of Morocco and interpersonal tension, Mangan has woven a fantastic thriller that will delight the fans of Gillian Flynn, Patricia Highsmith, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Since arriving in Tangier with her “brand new” husband, the last person that Alice Shipley expected to set eyes on was Lucy Mason. After an accident that happened in Bennington, the two friends, who were once inseparable roommates have never spoken with each other for over a year. However, there was her friend, Lucy, trying to the right the wrongs and return to their old way of life. Perhaps, Alice should be a happy man; she has not yet adjusted to the life in a foreign country (Morocco) too scared to explore into the crowded medina and the scorching desert heat. However, then, Lucy the always fearless and independent draws Alice from her apartment to explore the country.

However, soon a familiar feeling starts overwhelming Alice; she feels stifled and controlled by her friend Lucy at every single turn. Then in just a short span, Alice husband vanishes without a trace and Alice begins questioning everything around her- her state of mind, her relationship with Lucy and her decision to coming to Tangier.

Tangerine is set in 1950’s Morocco; Christine Mangan’s portrayal of Morocco is brilliantly showcased in every single page such that the readers walk through the medina, experience the rich culture, the taste of the mint tea, and the scorching desert heat alongside with the main characters Lucy and Alice. The story is alive with complexity and the energy of this locale, and its time period as well. The novel is also character-driven suspense and what’s more interesting about it is the lens through which Lucy and Alice experience this city. As seen in Lucy’s eyes, Tangier is a city full of life; it is vibrant and a playground for adventures and chasing personal gain. On the other hand, in Alice’s eyes, the city is a something that should be feared, and she secludes herself from the town blocking every aspect of its light and noise from her house.

Christine Mangan examines the grandeur, danger, glamour, and the societal complications of Morocco through the experiences of Lucy and Alice to fantastic effect.
Speaking of the different and unique experiences of the two heroine- Christine’s rich characterization breathes life to every single page of her debut novel. Tangerine is narrated in chapters that are alternately told by Lucy and Alice, and Christine Mangan navigation of these two different voices accounts for an immersive and compelling read. Both Lucy and Alice seem in almost every way to be negatives of each other. Alice, the delicate, innocent young woman haunted by a past tragedy and unable to let go of her anxieties and fears; Lucy, a determined and resourceful friend is the type of woman who will not stop until she gets what she wants. This unique pairing provides an excellent study in contrast, and the author places them in a type of a twisted dance, with Lucy slowly “encroaching” Alice with every chance she gets until she gets her exactly where she wants. In other words, Tangerine is a complex web of subdued manipulations, wrapped in a glamorous, shiny package of its cinematic backdrop.

Tangerine is an ideal match literary fiction fans thanks to its transportive plotting and vivid writing. Those who like crime fiction books will also find Mangan’s debut novel a real gem thanks to its quietly twisted schemes at its core. Reading the story could otherwise be compared to watching a spider allure its prey to its sticky web- the spider, in this case, being Lucy and the prey being the delicate Alice. As a result of a tragedy that Alice endured back in the college days, she now finds herself questioning about her credibility, and begins to suspect that her friend Lucy might have been involved in that past tragedy. With infuriating precision, Lucy exploits Alice and maneuvers herself back into Alice life. The readers can see well how the web is closing around Alice, but there is nothing the reader can to help her. To make matters worse, Alice begins questioning her own state of mind, and he is unable even to trust her own understanding.

Alice fragile nature is contrasted with her friend’s resilience to the very end. Alice lack of courage and her fragile nature makes her even more vulnerable to Lucy’s plans. However, the bond between them is one that can never be unshaken, having been forged through years. Alice knows her friend Lucy too well to be able to see through any plotting against her, but her past trauma undermines her such that she might never shield herself from Lucy’s schemes. It is through this vulnerability that Lucy carries on with her schemes and manipulations.

The ending is beautifully done. Christine Mangan crafted a thriller that majorly focuses on its precise plotting, character development, a web of manipulations, and characters with contrasting lives. The city itself is vividly described and provides a perfect backdrop for this narrative as it did for Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky and William Burroughs, Naked Lunch.

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