Catherine's Reviews > False Mermaid

False Mermaid by Erin Hart
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May 16, 2012

it was amazing
Read on May 16, 2012

This was my second read of this murder mystery cum faerie story. I know I've found a keeper when I can read a book multiple times, and even more so when it is a mystery. I love Erin's books because they flit gently over the boundary into imagination and back to reality effortlessly, taking me deeper into the feelings behind the facts. Her characters are fully fleshed, and her protagonists very likable. I love the settings both in the far away, ethereal Emerald Isle, and in the more familiar, but no less otherworldly St. Paul, Minnesota. Her plots are not so neatly sewn up as to be predictable or outside the realm of the possible. This is so much more than just a well written police procedural/criminal forensics mystery. There is a real life messiness here that takes her stories out of the territory of genre reading, into what is truly literature.

I don't want to trespass into the area of spoilers, so I'll just say that I absolutely love the allegorical use of seals woven through this book, and the unvarnished look at the relationships between parents and children, and siblings, both young and grown. Each time I read a book, I see different things. This time around I saw so clearly the champions of truth, and the battles they face when no one else wants to know the truth. The easy thing to do, is to give in and let it go, stop rocking the boat, but is that the right thing to do?

I hope those who may read this review, who have yet to enjoy Erin's beautiful stories, will go right out and get the first book in this series, Haunted Ground, and then move on to Lake of Sorrows, and finally False Mermaid, so you can discover for yourself the wonderful world she has conjured.

One final note playing softly in my head after this second reading is the life song of one of the more ancillary characters, the Cambodian fisherman, Seng Sotharith. It is a note of hope, and I am still savoring it's echoes.
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