Monday, July 21, 2014

eARC Review: Moon Over Tangier by Janice Law

Moon Over Tangier
by Janice Law 
Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
In colonial Morocco, a painter navigates a conspiracy of forgery, corruption, and murderFor Francis, life with David grows more dangerous by the day. When sober, he is charming, but when he drinks, he is violent, slashing Francis's paintings and threatening to gut the painter, too. When David leaves London for Morocco, Francis cannot help but follow this man whom he loves but can no longer trust. In Tangier, they find a thriving community of expats who guzzle champagne while revolutionaries gather in the desert. But in Morocco's International Zone, death does not wait for rebellion.After Francis identifies a friend's Picasso as a fake, the police call him in to investigate the forger's demise. If he refuses, they will throw David in jail, where inmates and the DTs will kill him within the week. Between the bustle of the city and the emptiness of the desert, Francis finds that in Morocco, even the fakes can be worth killing for.

Moon Over Tangier is a fictional mystery, suspense, thriller that stars painter Francis (loosely based on real life painter Francis Bacon), an openly gay artist living with his lover, David (probably loosely based on real life lover George Dyer). Their life seems to get on the dangerous path with David becoming increasingly abusive and even threatened Francis' life. Francis continues to love him, though, in his own way. Just like anyone living in an abusive relationship, he could not seem to let go of the habit of being with his lover, thinking he was in love with David and that David would probably change. Of course, the distrust is raising its ugly head but for some reason, Francis keeps going and follows blindly, even going with David to Tangier where they meet up with a variety of individuals who lived the Bohemian lifestyle, one that involved a lot of booze, wild parties, sex and even revolutionary meetings.

It was there that the mystery unfolds. Francis spots a supposed painting by Picasso, which, unfortunately, is linked to the death of the supposed forger. The caveat was simple: David is thrown into jail and most likely die from the abuse and violence within, or assist the police in their investigation. An investigation that involved spies and more forgeries. What other choice does that leave Francis?

Author Janice Law was able to capture the stoicism and pragmatism the real life Bacon was known for, showing hardly any emotion even in the midst of despair or sexual tension. His singular thought to get David out of the trouble he was caught in, drove Francis to do what he was asked, even if he was totally against it on principle. 

This was such an interesting, but dark read and it is with hesitance I recommend this. Definitely an MM story but it is neither romantic nor light enough to sit and read in one go. It took me some time to finish this and most times I had to mull things over, especially deeply when thinking about Francis' relationship with David. David was not a man to like, unfortunately, hero he may be in this story, but I did not like Francis either. Interestingly enough, it was hard NOT to like them (call me strange) for both men were such fascinating characters to read. 

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