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 prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
Wow, great debut here! I love it when authors take a different approach to common mythical creatures, and Brown has done that with LIES BENEATH. The mermaid myth, in my opinion, is wrought with smilie, happy, warm, sweet mermaids. Thank you Disney. Don't get me wrong, I loved THE LITTLE MERMAID, but there's something about taking that sweet enticing smile, and hiding a vicious, murderous creature beneath it that just does it for me.
I was not sure what to expect going into LIES BENEATH, simply because I haven't read very many mer-stories; but the first line had me hooked. “I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.” I mean, how can you resit a book that starts like that?! Calder was a very interesting character. His battle with his nature, his sisters, and his own emotions was intense, and I loved the way that he came to realizations about himself and how he actually felt so suddenly. It made it very real. I often felt like I was making the split second realization with him. I didn't know what he was actually going to do, and I really enjoy it when characters can keep me guessing.
There were a couple of aspects of Brown's world that confused me, and I think could have been a little better developed; however, I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to enjoy a different aspect of a previously uncommon myth.
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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.