THE BLUE HOUR by Douglas Kennedy

THE BLUE HOUR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dream Moroccan vacation turns into a series of progressively more disastrous misadventures for an accountant from Buffalo.

Robin turned to accounting in her 30s as a hedge against the unpredictability of life. Ignoring her now deceased mother’s very cogent warnings, she marries Paul, who at 58 is 18 years her senior. He's an artist of middling reputation and an inveterate spendthrift—they meet while Robin is handling his IRS woes. Robin wants a child, and Paul, whose chief attractions seem to be in the bedroom, appears to be on board. He surprises her with a trip to Morocco, site of his formative adventures as a young artist, and at first their stay in Essaouira, miles from Casablanca, is all lovely sunsets and wine-soaked trysts. Paul is producing his finest drawings ever in a local cafe when Robin makes her first fateful mistake—checking email on vacation: an associate has discovered receipts for Paul’s vasectomy. Livid, she leaves a nasty note and storms out, returning later to find the hotel room spattered with blood and torn-up artwork. Remorseful, she embarks on a frantic search for Paul. One step ahead of the gendarmes who suspect her of murder, she flees to Casablanca, where she discovers, with increasing horror, that Paul has a Moroccan ex-wife, an adult daughter, and a former friend who has become his worst enemy, the affable but sinister Ben Hassan. Hassan, once a painter before an escapade involving Paul destroyed his career, has extended the kind of loan Paul is singularly ill-equipped to repay. And that is only the beginning of Robin’s descent into hell. It would be unfair to reveal more, except that readers will continually be urging her, no-o-o, don’t do that! And she will ignore their advice just as she ignored her mother’s. Despite her appallingly bad judgment, Robin still manages a laughable degree of smug self-satisfaction.

Kennedy has a knack for portraying characters readers love to hate.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6637-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2015




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