17 May 2018
My thanks to the publishers and edpr for my copy of this book
What's it all about..
Brighton Beach, 1993: Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.
Twenty-five years on, Nell quits her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.
But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust.
My thoughts about it..
When teenagers, Nell and Jude, discover the body of a young woman washed up on a Brighton beach in 1993, it sets into motion a chain of events which will have repercussions for the next twenty five years, when life, for both Nell, Jude and their families, is changed forever. As an adult, Nell finds it difficult to let go of the events of 1993, and in using her commentary, and that of her younger sister, Macy, we get a multifaceted and suspenseful story which looks into the very heart of a dark and tragic mystery.
Throughout the story the many layers of The Brighton Mermaid are stripped bare and the complex twists and turns in the story certainly kept me guessing. Many times I thought I knew which way the story was going, only for it to veer off in a completely different direction, with the last third of the book being particularly tense, when my anxiety levels shot up another notch or two.
The characterisation is particularly well done and Nell comes across as a scarily, realistic person who is just as flawed as the rest of us but she has an amazing strength of character which is so believable that you can't help but be her champion. However, it it is in the intricate details of the other characters who flit into and out of the story where the strength of the story lies, and yet, to disclose anything about them would be to reveal too much, so I won't divulge anything at all, as this is one of those cleverly put together stories which is better if it’s read with no spoilers from me.
The Brighton Mermaid is a complex and intricate story which grabs your attention from the very beginning and takes you on a shadowy journey which is layered with details of systemic racial abuse, overt sexism and a blatant disregard for truth and justice.
I have read all of Dorothy Koomson's stories to date and I think her writing just gets better and better and with The Brighton Mermaid I really do think that she has surpassed herself.
Dorothy Koomson is the author of thirteen bestselling novels. Books and reading have always played a pivotal role in Dorothy's life and she fell in love with drama and fantasy of fictional worlds at an early age and has been making up stories since she was thirteen. Passionate about the importance of reading and literacy, Dorothy is a regular speaker in libraries and festivals and supports the work of the National Literacy Trust and Little Green Pig, a charity based in Brighton and Hove.
Twitter @DorothyKoomson #TheBrightonMermaid
The Brighton Mermaid is published by Century today