Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Blue Hour - Douglas Kennedy

The Blue Hour is the newest (#12) novel from author Douglas Kennedy. For me, it's the first time I've read Kennedy.

Robin Danvers is a successful accountant. But, she's not so successful at love. Her first marriage failed, but she remained hopeful that she would find someone to love and build a family with. Two years ago, she believed she had found that with Paul, one of her clients. Paul is artistic, 'bohemian' and terrible with finances - all quite the opposite of Robin. With her fortieth birthday behind her, Robin's biological clock is ticking quite loudly and there are cracks appearing in their marriage. When Paul suggests a month in Morocco Robin agrees. They arrive - and Paul disappears. Was it foul play? Did he stage his own disappearance? Did he just leave her alone in a foreign country? Where is he? And so begins Robin's search.....

The title? "Neither darkness nor light. The hour at daybreak or dusk when nothing is as it seems; when we are caught between the perceived and the imagined." The Blue Hour. The description perfectly mirrors Robin's state of mind and Kennedy's plot. Nothing is quite as it appears on the surface.

The novel is completely set in Morocco. I really have no knowledge of this country and found Kennedy's descriptions of the land, the people, the customs etc. rich, evocative and quite fascinating. The setting itself is a character in the book. Robin too, has no knowledge of the country which adds to her sense of danger, frustration and vulnerability.

As Robin searches for Paul, that danger increases - she is treading into the unknown. But here's the thing - I just didn't like Robin - I never connected with her. Despite her circumstances, I found her annoying at many turns. (And honestly, I just didn't get her devotion to Paul after some revelations) I wanted to see what happened of course (and quite a bit does) but I was not along side her, rather I was a dispassionate observer. I think using a first person narrative amplified this feeling as well.

But despite my dislike of Robin, I was caught up in Kennedy's tale - especially as it was unpredictable. Some of it seemed a bit far fetched, but had me envisioning The Blue Hour as a movie. And I loved the last two lines of the book - which I'm not going to spoil.

Read an excerpt of The Blue Hour. You can connect with Douglas Kennedy on his website, find him on Facebook as well as on Twitter.


Kay said...

I read another review of this book this morning that was a bit mixed as well. I think for different reasons. In any case, it seems the descriptions of the setting must have been very good as that was mentioned in the other review. For now, I'm kind of weary of reading about main characters that I don't really like. Not my favorite type of reading honestly.

Vicki said...

Sorry you didn't like the book more! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I think I'll pass on it.