For years I have been a fan of Dorothy Koomson and not once has she ever disappointed me with her books, surprised me granted and perhaps more so with The Brighton Mermaid. It is much more of a murder mystery than I was expecting for some reason, though perhaps this is explainable by the fact that merely seeing her name on a book makes me automatically reach for it rather than bothering to read the blurb!

There are of course the usual strengths of character and superb writing style evident throughout. Told in the voices of Nell and Macy, and flitting between the past and the present, at first I did have to remind myself which sister was which. Though of course this is totally my fault for not paying attention properly, and in any case once I was in the depths I'd sorted myself out and all was clear! The sisters are, as you'd expect from a Dorothy Koomson novel, likeable and enchanting; from Nell with her streak of feistiness to Macy's displays of OCD, they become fully-formed characters pretty early on in the book. Shaped as they are by Nell and Jude's discovery of the Brighton Mermaid on the beach as teenagers. The ripples of this discovery echoing through their lives and those of their family and friends.

The novel manages to tackle issues like mental health and guilt in a completely natural and organic way, examining them without becoming preoccupied by them. The story is as satisfying as the characters of course and as I started by saying, is a bit Agatha Christie-ish in its essence. It goes without saying that it is as engrossing as all her previous novels and if you enjoy trying to solve a little detective problem you'll certainly enjoy this one. After all who doesn't like a Whodunnit to curl up with? Though even if, for some bizarre reason you don't, there's more than enough of a family and relationship storyline to keep you more than happy.

I could go on and on but it's just a thoroughly enjoyable read, and goes once again to show why Dorothy Koomson has a loyal band of fans, of which I'm most definitely one. Terrific!