3 of 5 stars.
Included in Chronology published by Curiosity Quills Press, this supernatural mermaid tale seem to emerge from the isles of its setting, somewhere in outer Scotland. With evocative description of the salt-spray battered isle and the ceaseless winds, the loneliness and madness waiting in the deep dark of the land barely marred by civilization makes real the myth of the siren song. Men hear their names within the whistling and howling of the winds, voices lying just out of reach beckon from beyond.
Three friends from Cambridge, as part of a secret Gluttons’ Society, have come to the remote isle in search of a taboo culinary delicacy. They think nothing of devouring endangered animals, rare animals and taboo animals. Many of the seven deadly sins pile up as they slink closer to committing cannibalism by merging their gluttony with lust. An old notebook, thought to be Darwin’s, mentions the eating of mermaids at this outpost of humanity.
Fish tales, like fish, don’t smell fresh for very long. The men’s host on the island, a fisherman, has a final scene with his housekeeper-cook that threatens to spoil the tale with an unnecessarily elaborate, talky explanation of things. But overall, I like the tale and can overlook the garnish.
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