Search This Blog

Saturday, June 26, 2010

False Mermaid by Erin Hart

Hart, Erin. The False Mermaid.

Another one from that list of "best crime novels,"  The False Mermaid is set in St. Paul, MN and in Ireland and features Nora Gavin and Cormac Maguire.  I read Haunted Ground several years ago, but didn't realize this was part of that series until I read the jacket material.  The second in the series is Lake of Sorrows which I haven't read.

Nora, determined to get to the bottom of her sister's murder five years previously, leaves Ireland to return to St. Paul and resume her attempts to find the evidence to convict her brother-in-law.

The book switches back and forth between Americal (and Nora's efforts) and Ireland (where Cormac is trying to come to terms with father).  The best sections are those that deal with Nora, and for the most part I enjoyed the interplay, although the heavy-handed  mythic element in Ireland was annoying.

The mythic element concerning selkies is interesting and works well, but becomes a bit of an over-extended metaphor, and in one portion of the Irish section, reaches so far as to stretch already "suspended disbelief" to the breaking point. 

The American sections, however, were suspenseful, and I enjoyed the novel overall.  Although the conclusion puts the end to one mystery pretty emphatically, there may be a character (who was barely mentioned and didn't actually appear at all) who may turn up in the next novel in the series.

Entertaining escapism.

Fiction.  Mystery.  2010.  316 pages.


  1. I want to continue this series at some point. I know I would be interested in what happened to Nora's sister. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Kay, I need to read the 2nd novel, Lake of Sorrows, to fill in what I may have missed.

  3. I remember really enjoying her two first books and I kept hoping for a third but it seems like it's taken a while between books right? I'm going to try and follow up with this one.

  4. You will be looking for the third in the series while I'm checking for the one I missed. :)

  5. I've read both Haunted Ground and Lake of Sorrows and enjoyed them. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this one sometime soon.

    I'm looking forward to the change of location and Nora's follow through on her sister's murder which has clearly been haunting her throughout the first two books.

    Entertaining escapism is one of my favorite genres.


  6. I think you will enjoy this one, SuziQ; the storyline concerning Triona and her husband is interesting and suspenseful! :) I love entertaining escapism--it may not be great literature, but is one of my favorite ways to spend time!