I picked up Sleeping With the Fishes because I really enjoy MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series about Betsy the Vampire, and with so many series about vampires out there, I was excited about a new supernatural series that featured mermaids for a change. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t live up to my expectations. In the author’s defence, she does include an Acknowledgement at the start of the book that states that the writing of the book was plagued with troubles both personal and professional. That being said, perhaps the book should not have come out until these issues could be resolved, because the errors throughout are extremely distracting.
I found the overall plot to be fine – someone is polluting the harbour waters, and Fred (the mermaid) and her friends team up to find out who’s behind it. Not completely original, but acceptable. The characters are likeable enough and they do have personalities, but there’s little else going on with any of them. Fred the mermaid who is the protagonist of the story, comes across as bitter and fairly depressing. When you take an average plot and add average characters, you’d better hope for some snappy dialogue to keep people reading, and that’s where Sleeping With the Fishes is really lacking. The dialogue doesn’t flow naturally, and some portions had to be re-read in order to figure out who’s saying what. But my biggest issue with Sleeping With the Fishes is that there are some GLARING continuity errors. For example: why on earth does Fred have to call and ask a friend to find out the name of someone she once dated? (She being Fred, not the friend!) As if continuity errors aren’t bad enough, the book also contradicts itself more than once. While the ending of the book, which sets up a future love-triangle almost intrigued me enough to give Swimming Without A Net, the 2nd novel in the series a try, the lazy writing will keep me away.