cover image Mermaid Moon

Mermaid Moon

Colleen Coble. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4016-9028-1

Coble shifts her Sunset Cove series into overdrive with a second installment driven by murder, arson, kidnapping, and deception. Mallory Davis grew up on Folly Shoals Island, Maine, but after a teenage miscarriage and the death of her mother leave her guilt ridden, she moves to Bangor to start a new life. Now widowed and raising a teenage daughter of her own with the help of her friend and neighbor Carol, Mallory receives a distressing phone call from her estranged father. She immediately contacts the trustworthy ex-boyfriend she dumped 15 years ago, Kevin O’Connor, who is an area game warden. Kevin investigates and finds her father dead in the boat he owns—a boat that seems outside his means as a postal worker. On the surface, it looks like a nasty accident, but Mallory soon suspects foul play. Kevin agrees to help her investigate despite their unresolved past. The pair’s rekindled romance is the only predictable event in this story. Though Coble sets up an intriguing mystery, the plot lacks integrity with weak motives, confusing details, improbable scenarios, and faith-based references that are random and disjointed. In the end, the convoluted story raises more questions than it answers, leaving a lot open for the next installment. Agent: Karen Solem, Spencerhilll Associates (Jan.)