A letter from the past forces a disgraced bureaucrat to confront his future
Tangier tells two parallel stories: one, a mystery, and the other a spy story set fifty years apart and told in a series of alternating sections. In the first, we follow Christopher Chaffee, a disgraced Washington power broker whose father, a French diplomat, died in a Vichy prison in 1944--or so he had always believed until a letter, received decades after it was posted, upends his life. Soon he is reluctantly inspecting the corkscrew of his own life as he searches the narrow lanes and twisted souls of Tangier's ancient medina in search of the father he never knew.
The second is a tale of espionage and betrayal, set in Morocco during WWII. Rene Laurent, Christopher's father, struggles to maintain his integrity--and his life--in the snake pit of wartime Tangier. The stories slowly intertwine as Christopher unravels the mystery of his father's fate, and Laurent becomes trapped in a web of lies and corruption, and caught up, too, in the arms of a woman he knows he shouldn't trust.
Ultimately, Tangier is the story of fathers and sons, the alienation of being a stranger in a strange land, the seductive face of betrayal and, finally, the lengths we'll go to for redemption.
A native Oregonian and current Portland resident, Stephen Holgate served for four years as a diplomat with the American Embassy in Morocco. In addition to his other Foreign Service posts, Mr. Holgate has served as a Congressional staffer; headed a committee staff of the Oregon State Senate; managed two electoral campaigns; acted with the national tour of an improvisational theater group; worked as a crew member of a barge on the canals of France; and lived in a tent while working as a gardener in Malibu. Holgate has published several short stories and successfully produced a one-man play, as well as publishing innumerable freelance articles. Tangier is his first novel.