American pathologist Nora Gavin fled to Ireland three years ago, hoping that distance from home would bring her peace. Though she threw herself into the study of bog bodies and the mysteries of their circumstances, she was ultimately led back to the one mystery she was unable to solve: the murder of her sister, Trona. Nora can't move forward until she goes back to her home, to the scene of the crime, to the source of her nightmares and her deepest regrets.
Determined to put her sister's case to rest and anxious about her 11-year-old niece, Elizabeth, Nora returns to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to find that her brother-in-law, Peter Hallett, is about to remarry and has plans to leave the country with his new bride. Nora has long suspected Hallett in Trona's murder, though there has never been any proof of his involvement, and now she believes that his new wife and Elizabeth may both be in danger. Time is short, and as Nora begins reinvestigating her sister's death, missed clues and ever-more disturbing details come to light. What is the significance of the "false mermaid" seeds found on Trona's body? Why was her behavior so erratic in the days before her murder?
Is there a link between Trona's death and that of another young woman? Nora's search for answers takes her from the banks of the Mississippi to the cliffs of Ireland, where the eerie story of a fisherman's wife who vanished more than a century ago offers up uncanny parallels. As painful secrets come to light, Nora is drawn deeper into a past that still threatens to engulf her and must determine how much she is prepared to sacrifice to put one tragedy to rest...and to make sure that history doesn't repeat itself.
©2009 Erin Hart (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Rich with atmosphere and Irish legend, this exceptionally crafted story of murder, family secrets, and redemption is a welcome addition to Hart’s suspenseful series.” (Library Journal)
“Few writers combine as seamlessly as Hart does the subtlety, lyrical language, and melancholy of literary fiction with the pulse-pounding suspense of the best thrillers.” (Booklist)
“Many readers will find this passionate, complex novel almost impossible to put down.” (Publisher's Weekly)
Great detailed story, well written, up in the top of this type of listen.
This is similar to a CSI TV show/ or Maggie Shayne book.
This book is very accurate in it's setting. The characters are flawed and believable. The story is a twist on a typical murder mystery.
It is like all murder mysteries, it is always the person you least suspect but at the same time you already know who the murderer is and who actually does the dirty work. It is very much like The Fugitive.
If you like murder mystery this is the book for you. It has all the twists and turns needed to hold your interest. The characters are perfectly flawed. There is no new way to make a cliche subject like murder mystery but False Mermaid does a great job with round characters and beautifully drawn settings.
I kept expecting this book to get better but it just became padded out with odd storylines that seemed to be unrelated to much at all.
The narrators attempt at male dialogue was annoyingly high camp.
This is the 3rd book in Erin Hart's series I have read and I had really looked forward to it. Lake of Sorrows and Haunted Ground were great. I liked this one the least. Somehow the book just fell short of its promise. It hinted at supernatural, weird justifications for the "bad" guys, Irish folk lore, lots of subplot potentials but somehow it seemed like we never totally got to the point. As one reviewer indicated, the title is intriguing and does sort of play a part and this was neat. While I am glad I read her book and will certainly give another one a go, I'd recommend getting it in one of the discount opportunities Audible offers. Personally, I found the narrator's accent added to the Irish flavor of the book but it did take a few chapters to get accustomed to it.
I don't think so. I really didn't like the reader. I wasn't thrilled with the story either.
Never read a book by her before. Unlikely to again.
The narrator used the same puffed-cheek pretending to be a man voice for multiple male characters.
At first, I really liked the child, Elizabeth. My heart warmed to her when she stole the library book because something in it called to her. But (similar to Aunt Nora) she exhibited very contradictory behavior: She ran away from her father & his fiancee to find her Aunt and after she was with Nora all she wanted was to go back with her father. When Elizabeth and Nora were confronted by the obviously homicidal fiancee and Nora risked injury to give Elizabeth the chance to run and she disobeyed & returned, I wanted to throw her off a cliff myself. I started out liking the changeling seal's appearances and this fantasy aspect of the book but it ended up leaving me rather cold - this sure wasn't Anne McCaffrey's Petaybee.
The audio began with what seemed like a song or poem in what I presumed was Gaelic. Since I don't speak any words in whatever language it was, it seemed to last forever (I suspect it was 2 minutes but might have been longer) and I was bored. I didn't always like the main character, Nora, who came back to USA after several yrs absence to solve (horrific) murder of her sister Triona (who left infuriatingly mysterious clues). I found it exasperating that Nora didn't always share information with the U.S. detective. I thought spying on her brother-in-law when he had an order of protection keeping her away and, worse, confronting his fiancee near his home was idiotic. I like smart logical main characters. In Ireland, when she enlisted the help of people including the local police in keeping Elizabeth when the child likely was reported missing, all I could think was: accessory after the fact. In the U.S., the police would not go along with this for fear of losing job & ending up jailed for a crime!! I thought situations in the book were nonessential - for example, the death of the detective's brother. I wasn't thrilled with the story of the woman and child who disappeared from the abandoned sod house either but guess that possible peat bog disappearance was included for continuity with earlier books in the series? Finally, the whole unraveling of the mystery of Triona's murder seemed way more complicated than it needed to be, particularly the drugging and the way the clothing got muddy. A lot of practical objections occur to me regarding both of these issues.
Not sure, didn't get through the 1st chapter. Couldn't stand narrator's voice.
Not so sure
Narrator voice was annoying
I have an average attention span and a wide genre of tastes in audio books. I just couldn't get into this book.
If you read the reviews, a lot of comments about the narration and the narrator's Irish accent. The richness of the accent used was kinda like a double piece of chocolate cake with warm fudge frosting, in other words, way too much of a good thing.
However, My problem with the story lies in the amount of superfluous Irish folklore. It was interesting. But it felt like listening to two or three different stories. One story rooted in folklore and another story rooted in the present day murder.
My second problem lies in the depth of development given to extraneous minor characters. For example, I may need to know who that Character X found the body, but I'm just not sure I needed to know about this Character X's entire history when it is in no way relevant to the main story. The depth that the author to provide information about this minor character, ends up taking away from the real story.
For me it all just got muddled and murky. With some editing, this could have been a great book.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
First off, let me say, I loved the narration, loved the Irish folk lore, and TRIED HARD to love the story, but it went on too long, without enough substance to keep it going . . . I wish it had enveloped me and took me on the journey, but as hard as I tried, it just didn't quite make it . . .
The story jumps, its development is complex with lots of technical and cultural research obviously infused. The character development is thought out but it does not flow into the story line making this a less than easy listening book. There is nothing light weight about this myth laced into the story. The fantasy and reality are not as well transition as they could be with more technical writing skill than art - I think this is where it loses some readers/listeners.
Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators but she does not nail the American accents very well. Elizabeth the little girl is just not on mark. Neither are the other purely American character voices on point. I did like the book well enough I thought it more like one of those Modern Lit books on a reading list for college. I could see it was a good novel but generally did not consider it a fun read either as a thriller or a romance. I did not love it and it is not one of those I will listen to or read twice. This maybe for some worth a credit and for others maybe not. It depends what you are looking for in a book. It is not a feel good romance story and it is not a simple escapist type listen. It may be too cerebral for some taste. It very nearly is for mine.
I love Elly Griffiths' "Ruth Galloway" series. "Nora Gavin" is a similar character and Ms. Hart's writing style bares some resemblance to Ms. Griffiths'. This book appeared to be listed as the first in the series but I suspect it is actually the second as I'm enjoying HAUNTED GROUND which is setting up for chapters in FALSE MERMAID. Since I have to wait a while for the next in the Galloway series, Ms Harts' series will do nicely.
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