Always a sucker for a bit of old-fashioned glamour, it was the stylish cover of The Continental Affair that initially attracted me to this novel. Although it definitely cannot be described as an Agatha Christie ‘who dunnit,’ it certainly has an air of the great author about it. I feel it is also influenced by The Thomas Crown Affair, enhancing the intrigue and romance within the plot.
Set in the 1960s and spanning across Europe and beyond, The Continental Affair is the latest novel by Christine Mangan, the bestselling author of Tangerine and Palace of the Drowned. It is the story of a seductive game of cat and mouse that is full of anticipation and suspense.
Narrated through a dual timeline, this alluring novel is the story of two strangers, each with a past that they are desperate to escape from.
In the opening of the novel Louise encounters Henri sitting in her seat in a train compartment all alone. The train travels to Istanbul. Although this is the first time the characters politely converse with each other, this is not the first time they have been made aware each other. In actual fact Henri has been tracking Louise from country to country. Louise is well aware of Henri’s pursuit.
Louise has ventured to Europe in an attempt to escape from her claustrophobic, cruel upbringing in England. She is now on the run from a criminal gang she has stolen from whilst she was in Granada. Henri, haunted by his past life as gendarme in Algeria was also in Granada. Related to the criminal gang and on the fringes of their illegal activity, he was sent by his relatives to collect some money. Yet when he saw Louise steal it right before his eyes, rather than being angry at her, he is fascinated by her. Although Henri knows he must retrieve the money that Louise has taken from his family, his fascination in her intensifies.
With stylish pros, The Continental Affair is a character driven, slow burning novel that is full of atmosphere. It is also brimming with an alluring tension that builds to a dramatic climax. I read this on my recent holiday and I have to say, it made an excellent holiday read.
Thank you Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour of this captivating, sophisticated novel. To follow the blog tour, please see below.
The Continental Affair was published on 3 August by Bedford Square Publishers.