REVIEW: The Brighton Mermaid, Dorothy Koomson

Dorothy Koomson is one of my favourite novelists of all time. A bold statement, I know, but I’ve been reading Koomson’s books for years and they always have strong female characters who aren’t overly perfect, fast paced twisty plots and a unique ‘Koomson’ narrative voice.

I was very excited when I saw The Brighton Mermaid was being released and bought it a soon as I could.

When a woman is found dead on a beach in Brighton, two teenage girls discover her body and their lives are changed forever. Following the stories of the two girls and the sister of one of them, the novel spans decades.

Engaging from the start, I loved this novel with its intense plot and mix of characters, all of them real, none of them too perfect.

My only issue with this novel was that it did feel as though it dragged for the third quarter of the novel. It felt as though there was a dip in the action and I knew there would be a big twists and was impatient to get there. I also found the dialogue a little less realistic than Koomson usually writes it, particularly the use of ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ by adult women. Many of the sentences were just a little to crisp, I felt like they needed some colloquialisms and broken sentences to make the conversations feel a little more ‘real’.

Overall though, this is an excellent, dark thriller, written with Koomson’s usual ice and unflinching ability to look at the darkest experiences women can face. Koomson always manages to write a variety of female experiences into her novels and to keep us guessing until the very end.

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