The Mermaid's Purse

The Mermaid's Purse

2.98 (131 ratings by Goodreads)
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Strange tides are acting upon Dr Cass Bainbridge, impelling her to leave London and the comfortable home she shares with her lover, to take up a lecturing job on the south coast. Yet Brighton isn't the natural choice for a woman with a long-standing fear of the sea. And some of the students on her course are anything but easy. Dealing with the mounting pressure of her new job is almost too much for Cass to handle and, beneath the surface, a whispering stream of disquiet is gradually building into a wave. For Cass is being stalked - a series of strange phone calls and disturbing emails, and a malignant presence around the flat, are forcing her to finally come to terms both with her own history, and the demons threatening her more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 155 x 233 x 24mm | 424g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0718145275
  • 9780718145279

Author information

Katy Gardner teaches social anthroplogy at the University of Sussex. She lives in Brighton with her husband and three children. This is her second more

Review Text

Cass Bainbridge seems to have everything - a steady job, a comfortable existence and a loving relationship with Matt. But Cass decides to throw caution to the winds, and abandon the security of her London lifestyle to teach at a college in Brighton. Matt is hurt and confused, and Cass herself doesn't really understand why she has an urge to return to the place which was the scene of a great personal tragedy many years earlier. How she gradually comes to terms with the horrors of her childhood and unburdens herself of the secret she has been suppressing for so long is the driving force of Katy Gardner's latest psychological thriller. She had readers frantically chewing their nails with her first novel, Losing Gemma, and they will find this successor equally compelling. Cass not only has to contend with her past, but also the traumas of her new job. Unable to motivate herself, dragged down by a peculiar lethargy, she fails to establish a rapport with her students and can only watch helplessly as her relationship with Matt crumbles before her eyes. As the days pass, she becomes aware that she is being followed; everyone, new colleagues and students alike, come under suspicion as she struggles to cope. Only Beth, an enthusiastic young student who takes Cass under her wing, shows any compassion. Why is Cass so terrified of the sea, and at the same time so drawn to it? Katy Gardner leads us back through Cass's turbulent youth in a series of flashbacks, and we begin to understand why this apparently self-confident, independent, intelligent young woman is a quivering mass of nerves and insecurities. The pace builds up towards a dramatic climax as Cass finally confronts her past with tragic consequences. Once again she must face her greatest fear head on, and risk her own life in the process. Unbearably tense, and utterly gripping, this is definitely a book which will have readers burning the midnight oil. A Mermaid's Purse proves beyond any doubt that Katy Gardner is a brilliant new voice in the field of psychological drama. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

131 ratings
2.98 out of 5 stars
5 8% (10)
4 22% (29)
3 37% (49)
2 27% (35)
1 6% (8)
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