The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson

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The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: With twists and turns, secrets and lies, this is a read that keeps you guessing to the end, but with lots to enjoy along the way
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 496 Date: May 2018
Publisher: Century
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780896007

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In 1993, two teenagers stumble across a horrific scene on the beach as they're sneaking home after an un-authorised night out: a body of a young woman, partially stripped, totally deceased. The find hits the girls in different ways. Nell becomes obsessed with finding the identity of the girl – who she calls the Brighton Mermaid because of a distinguishing tattoo – whereas Jude just wants to forget it ever happened. Fast forward 25 years and Nell is still haunted by what happened that night. With few leads to go on, the Police closed the case without cracking it, and so it remains one of those unsolved mysteries that become part of local folklore, but Nell struggles to let sleeping dogs, or even sleeping mermaids, lie. As for Jude, well no one knows if the discovery still haunts her because no one knows where she is. Shortly after that fateful night, she too disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. There's more to Brighton than Stag Dos and Gay Pride, it seems.

This is a long book but it kept my attention well, jumping between past and present, and between different viewpoints. Nell's sister Macy wasn't on the beach that night, but the impact on her has still been great, and Nell's decades long obsession has forced a rift between the two, which is evident whenever it is her turn to narrate. There are a lot of subplots in the book, too, including racial tensions between Nell and Macy's family, and the Police. One officer in particular remains unconvinced that their father was unconnected to the whole affair, and his ongoing attention in unwelcome and unnerving for Nell.

When the story isn't being a murder mystery, it's a juicy family drama full of secrets and lies. What did Macy see, back in '93, that has worried her ever since? What is the story between Nell and Shane (Macy's partner)? And why do the grandparents have such a detached relationship with their grandchildren? There's so much more to this family than meets the eye.

There were definite moments in this book that shocked me, certain acts that I did not see coming and which worried me in the way they worried the characters. From car accidents to break-ins, this book has pockets of high tension to keep you on your toes, and I really enjoyed it.

I would like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. It was an excellent, absorbing read, and there's lots of content to sink your teeth into. If you like the sound of this style, we would also recommend That Girl from Nowhere from the same author.

Buy The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson at

Buy The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson at


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