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)
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.
First, if you don't care for that Irish lilt in a narrator's voice, this book is not for you. For me, there was something too "theatrical" about the accent, but I persevered. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for the story, either. The author seemed intent on using lines from old Irish folk tales throughout a story otherwise told in present-day. There were too many coincidences and explanations for characters' behaviors that seemed to be simply convenient ways for the author to get out of the corner she'd written herself into. A lot of people will enjoy this book for its attempt to weave myth and "reality, but for me, the result was too heavy handed.
I haven't read the book, so couldn't comment but I did enjoy listening greatly.
When the damaged seal appears in the sea in Ireland.
I liked her accent and her emotion.
No extreme reaction, I just had to keep listening to get to the end. Of course I knew who had done it, but had to know how and why and the whole Selky thing was enthralling.
Get past the Gaelic etc at the beginning, it was too much and nearly put me off but I'm glad I held in there.
I enjoyed the audio book because of the accents of the Narrator. She brought the "Irish" feeling to the book!
Yes. She does a wonderful job in all her works yet this is my favorite.
I don't do many reviews, and usually only ones where I loved it. I'm glad I only paid $4.95, and to be fair this book might be a lot better read than listened to. It was really hard to follow at times, and made no sense at others. The people were not that likeable, not well developed. The underlying story was merely an annoyance and turned out to really have nothing to do with anything. I was looking for more of the supernatural angle, and the ending was just flat. It passed the time, but that's about all.
Rural Mail Carrier with an awesome husband and 3 fantastic kids!
I enjoyed this listen. The narrator did a good job with the characters and intonation which kept things interesting. The story had nice little intricacies and was woven together well.
I enjoyed the story of the book, although some pretty unlikely coincidences seemed to wrap up the story in some places. My biggest ick, however, was the fact that the chosen storyteller did not fit the story. I loved her way of telling and she would be a perfect voice for, say, Miss Marple or the likes. The storyteller's voice was in fact too old for the story, if that makes any sense. One guy, I will not say who so as to not give a spoiler, seemed to me to be around 50 years old, and I could not understand it when the book suddenly refered to him as "the kid". Same with the main characters; I thought this was a story about people in their 50-60's due to the storyteller's voice and performance, and even when I understood that they were supposed to be younger I could not "see" it due to her voice/performance. I'd love to her her voice in a different type of book, though.
I spent most of my time with this book trying not to figure out the lame whodunit plot (the author pretty much tells you who did it in the first chapter), but rather why the narrator used an Irish accent when most of the book took place in America with American-accented characters. A woman narrator's attempt to portray male voices is rarely successful but this was particularly bad. If you want an Ireland-based novel, go with one by Tana French.
Each of the characters in this novel was well developed and believable. The story held my interest from start to finish and the secondary characters really fit. This narrator is one of my favorites and she did the story justice. Excellent read!
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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