By Carl-Johan Vallgren
Published by Hesperus Press
Nella and her brother Robert live an isolated and difficult life with their alcoholic parents on the west coast of Sweden. Robert is bullied at school for his learning difficulties. Nella resorts to debt and petty crime to pay off his increasingly violent tormentors.
Carl-John Vallgren is the author of eight novels. The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot won the Swedish August Prize for novel of the year. He lives in Stockholm.
When she turns to her only schoolfriend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers. Her life is opened to the realities of a mindboggling secret when she unconvers the secret behind their enigmatic behaviour. The Merman is an exhilarating and beautiful book about sibling love and betrayal.
Unassumingly simple, sweetly aching, heart-warming and absolutely beautifulâ€™ Edinburgh Book Review
â€˜It reads like an urban legend, and is a curious and unique piece of fictionâ€™ Stylist
â€˜An intense little gemâ€™ Dagens Nyheter
Beautifully written, shocking and touching in equal measure. One of the best of 60 books I've read so far this year.