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The Mermaid Broker por Sue Hinkin
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The Mermaid Broker (edición 2021)

por Sue Hinkin (Autor)

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Miembro:sewingal1
Título:The Mermaid Broker
Autores:Sue Hinkin (Autor)
Info:Literary Wanderlust (2021), 292 pages
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The Mermaid Broker por Sue Hinkin

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Mostrando 5 de 5
Esta reseña ha sido escrita por los Primeros Reseñadores de LibraryThingSUB2>.
Come for the Mermaids but Stay for the Real Women
a review by Erin Michaela Sweeney

The Mermaid Broker opens with Isabelle “Izzy” Abbott mentally muddled, trying to figure out how she ended up wherever she landed. As a reader dropping into the fourth book in the Vega and Middleton series, I, too, had to get my bearings at the beginning.

Luckily, author Sue Hinkin quickly introduces the two protagonists of the crime series in the second chapter. Beatrice Middleton is a journalist at “CNN-STAT” who reports on tough topics including human trafficking. At the thought of such perpetrators, “Bea” recalls a close call for her 13-year-old daughter, perhaps a reference to an earlier book. (The daughter never appears in this book.) Lucy Vega is Bea’s go-to freelance news photographer and best friend who’s supposed to be on bedrest per her OB-GYN.

Set in Southern California, the novel reflects the real-life diversity of its region. Bea is Black and Lucy is (at least part) Latina. Their conversations about an upcoming visit by Lucy’s Spanish-speaking aunt — a nun and curandera, or wise woman trained in traditional medicine — convey Lucy’s Mexican origins. Disoriented Izzy from the first chapter is reported missing by her older sister, Casey; they are both white. The detective who takes on the case is Macintosh Wu, Asian American. The antagonists and most other secondary characters are white except Bea’s boss, the forensic accounting and dark web consultant, and a couple other (tangential) bad guys.

The plot is solid and the pacing fine. I did get the sense that the author wanted to fit in perhaps too much story in the final 20 percent of the book. But maybe a character or two who show up toward the end of this book will loom large in the next one?

Hinkin does a good job using her characters’ reflections as a way to propel the story forward. At one point, though, I mixed up Izzy and Lucy, since both had lost family tragically and emoted similarly on the subject.

Occasionally, dialogue hints at several past events. Since I’ve not read other books in the series, I don’t know if the author means to refer to parts of previous plots to further engage her longtime readers. This technique only distracted me once, when Bea warns her son to stay away from this book’s missing person case.

The Mermaid Broker is an engaging crime novel and works as a stand-alone. I commend author Sue Hinkin for her strong, multidimensional female characters.

* I received a free ebook of The Mermaid Broker as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer member in exchange for an unbiased review. (Also posted on GoodReads and Amazon). ( )
  ErinMichaelaSweeney | Apr 24, 2021 |
Esta reseña ha sido escrita por los Primeros Reseñadores de LibraryThingSUB2>.
I was given a free copy of this book through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: This is the 4th book in this series, but I have only read this book. It can be read as a standalone, although reading it as such caused some confusion regarding personal plot points in the characters’ lives that I didn’t know about, and I missed out on character development that likely occurred in earlier books. This did affect my reading experience and I try to account for it in the review.

Enjoyed:
- Plot: I thought the premise was interesting and unique. The pace of the book worked as well. Admittedly, I don’t know much about law enforcement procedures, so I can’t judge accuracy, but I thought things seemed to make sense, even if the protagonists seemed to have a lot of luck on their side.

Meh:
- Characters: I can’t say much about Bea or Lucy because they likely had a lot of the character development I was lacking in the earlier books. They were generally likable, although I did like Bea a tad bit more. The supporting characters could be hard to keep track of at times and I wasn’t invested in any of them because I didn’t get much background on them even when they were more prominent, which again, could be because they showed up in earlier books and had more development there.
- Dialogue: Honestly, I’m a picky reader when it comes to dialogue because if there are cringey aspects, the second-hand embarrassment hits me hard. Unfortunately, that was the case while reading the book. There were a few moments in the text where dialogue between characters didn’t feel as natural and tried to incorporate patterns of speech that fell flat. As a WOC I really did appreciate the attempts at diversity, but there were moments where the dialogue tried to incorporate it that seemed awkward/didn’t flow very well.

Disliked:
- Wu and Casey: This may just be picky, but it felt rushed and I didn’t love Wu’s internal dialogue in chapter 24 about loving a damsel in distress and wanting to kiss her while she was having the panic attack. It felt a tad out of place and it rubbed me the wrong way while reading a book about a woman being kidnapped and trafficked so men could get off on her fear and distress. It made Wu less likable for me, and I generally think the relationship wasn’t necessary and detracted from the rest of what was going on.
- Lucy and her aunt: I don’t mean their relationship (that was cute), but rather the dialogue because I felt the overwhelming urge to skip over any and every time they spoke to each other. I’m latina and a native Spanish speaker and it’s very easy to tell when non latine authors try to write in Spanish because it ends up sounding like these scenes. I can’t speak for all of us, but I am Mexican (family is actually from Guerrero as well), and I can say that “It muy pesado for one in your condition,” doesn’t sound natural, even for someone who is in the process of learning English. ( )
  dsoberanis | Apr 5, 2021 |
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