Toni Osborne's Reviews > False Mermaid

False Mermaid by Erin Hart
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Jun 24, 10

Read in June, 2010

Book 3 in the Nora Gavin Mysteries

The novel is a wonderful follow up to "Lake of Sorrow", where once more the author has skilfully combined Irish mythology into a murder mystery.

The story opens where the prequel ended with Nora on her way back to the USA. She is determined once home to review the details and crack open the cold case of her sister's murder that has been haunting her for years. At the same time, when another body with similar trauma is discovered, Frank Cordova, the original police investigator, sees the similarities and decides to reopen the file to see if there is a link.

The second murder has Nora and Frank joining forces, digging deeper and closer to the truth. Their intensive investigation unravels a mystery with many twists and turns.....

I found the story captivating and very hard to put down. The race to get the missing pieces of the puzzle and necessary proof for a conviction is exciting and a real page turner. Nora's willingness to go to all means is stepped up a notch when she realizes her niece's life may also be in peril.

The author has not forgotten Cormac Maguire (Nora's love) left behind in Ireland. A parallel story emerges with Cormac at the side of his ailing father in Donegal, a person he has been estranged from for many years and realizes he has a very short time to make amends with.

While at his father bedside, with a close friend now a beloved caretaker, Cormac is told the story of the century old disappearance of a woman believed to be a selkie (a seal that evolves into a human). The element of the selkie makes for a fascinating and engaging tale of Irish folklore. A great addition giving a mysterious nature to the novel, one that leaves a haunting feeling.....

The two stories weaved nicely throughout the novel and everything was neatly tied up in a conclusion that brought Nora back to Ireland.

The novel is an expertly crafted mystery, one rich in atmosphere and legend. Very well done, I am looking forward to the next instalment.
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