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Courageous, rebellious, transform... Wow! Alex Cotter's 'The Mermaid Call' is a lively, compelling and thought-provoking MG mystery that completely subverts your expectations. Last year I loved 'The House on the Edge' (review here) and I'm equally impressed by this. Super!

A mermaid in a deep dark lake...

Swirling whirlpools and seaweed snares...

Stolen money and a missing jewel...

Two lost girls...

When Vivien wades into a mystery from the past, she little knows that the truth could pull her under.

Alex Cotter has a unique gift of plunging you into the depths of a mystery that bubbles up with clues, only to pull you out breathless, blinking at the truth. Without spoiling too much, 'The Mermaid Call' is much more than what it suggests it is. While there are lots of tantalising, spine-tingling allusions to myth and legend, like 'The House on the Edge', there are plenty of twists and red-herrings that point to deeper, profound human truths. 'The Mermaid Call' is about diving deeper, underneath the shallow appearances of things, of history, of gender, of being true to yourself. And Alex Cotter explores this with such intelligence and wit through Vivien's lively and charming voice. I loved all her little asides and how her thoughts slowly unravel like a mermaid's rainbow tail. Courageous, rebellious, transform... it was great how this framed not only the dramatic set-pieces as the girls investigate the mystery of the mermaids, but also in terms of Vivien's character arc. Her relationship with Alice is interesting and feels quite different to other books, as there relationship is more antagonistic and raises important questions, particularly for girls, about maintaining true friendships by being yourself and fighting for what is right. 

Take the plunge, respond to the noise, 'The Mermaid Call' is another excellent mystery from Alex Cotter that will make you want to rebel with the courage to stand up for girls and each other. 

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-mermaid-call/alex-cotter/9781839941900