Forget what you think you know about mermaids. Ariel and Disney have no place in this horrific tale of tragedy and death, love and desire, by Anne Greenwood-Brown. Lies Beneath begins with Calder White stating that he hates the cold almost as much as the draw he feels to join his family on the yearly migration. Ever since Calder was taken in by the woman he refers to as his mother and her three daughters, Calder has felt trapped. And while this may seem like a normal everyday problem, it is not. Calder and his sisters are mermaids, and not the sing-song type. They kill for survival as they take humans to the depths of the waters while draining their energy; and more times than not they enjoy the kill. While Calder hates traveling back home for the yearly migration, this year is different. This year the Hancock family has returned to Lake Superior, and Calder and his sisters have been waiting a long time for their arrival. Jason Hancock, the patriarch of the family, had been promised to the mermaids, a promise that was broken and led to the death of Calder’s adoptive mother. Now, in order to enact their revenge, Calder must seduce the young and naïve Lilly Hancock so that he and his sisters may have their final revenge. However, Calder does not anticipate falling in love with Lilly, and now he must make a choice that will forever alter the lives of two families.
Lies Beneath presents a world where mermaids are dangerous and deceitful. It is a refreshing take on an old tale and I appreciated the male point-of-view character. I was very fond of how the author forces Calder to juggle between the worlds of both good and evil, and I was ambiguous about whom the readers should be rooting for. I was not impressed with the love story and Calder’s almost instant attraction and love for Lilly. I would have liked for Greenwood-Brown to really explore that relationship a bit further and explain to the readers why we should be invested in this romance. I was also so preoccupied with my interest in the relationships between the families that the romance took a back seat. In the end Lies Beneath is a great summer read that I anticipate many people will enjoy.