This isn’t your mother’s mermaid story. This isn’t a Disney story. This is a story of murder, betrayal and love. LIES BENEATH is dark and delicious.
It is the story of Calder White, a merman who tries to fight his nature. In LIES BENEATH, merfolk are cold-blooded serial killers, draining their victims of their happy emotions and feeding on them much like vampires, without conscience or care. Calder is different. He fights the strong pull, he has a conscience. He also fights the pull of cold Lake Superior, where he must migrate to each year to be with his sisters, one of them unbelievably cruel.
When he receives the call from his sister this year, it is different. The sisters have found a man whom they believe is the son of a man who caused their mother’s death and they are out for vengeance. Reluctantly, Calder sets out to join them in their quest for revenge and in the process falls in love with Lily, daughter of the man he’s to help kill.
I had my doubts about this book at first. Mermaids as serial killers? I mostly read of mermaids as self-sacrificing (Hans Christian Anderson) or Disneyesque. This was a very dark turn. I fell in love with the book in the first chapter and it made me think a bit of an old Tim Powers book I’d fallen in love with in the ’70’s called THE STRESS OF HER REGARD about a murderous Lamia. The writing isn’t like it, nor is the story, but the concept of a mermaid killer brought it to mind.
Calder is a wonderful character. He’s so messed up, intricate and complex that it’s a pleasure going along for the ride in his mind. Lily too, is another interesting character, she’s strong, determined and intelligent. The sisters as well are well-developed and complex. There are some great plot twists and surprises with them that I found to be completely unexpected. The wonderful descriptions of Lake Superior and what lies beneath it were a fantastic element and added so much to the story.
LIES BENEATH is the first in a triology and I’m eagerly looking forward to the second book. Highly recommended for plot, strong characters and an amazing story. I would caution that this is for more mature YA readers as there is violence and some nudity.
Check out the great book trailer below:
Book description from the publisher:
The lore of mermaids and mermen is real. Just wait until you meet Calder White in this addictive debut novel that is destined to make a splash!
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters must prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually they select their victims at random, but this time around the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother’s death.
It’s going to take the whole White family to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder’s job is to gain Hancock’s trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between family and the girl he loves. One thing’s for sure, whatever Calder decides, the outcome won’t be pretty.
About the author
ANNE GREENWOOD BROWN grew up sailing the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, leaning over the rail and wondering, with a lake that big, that ancient, what amazing thing might flash by. Now she knows. Lies Beneath is her first novel.
Disclosure: A free copy of this book was furnished by the publisher for review via NetGalley, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.