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TO THE MAX: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime

Written by Maxim Jakubowski for crimetime.co.uk on Sunday, May 24, 2020

White Caribbean literary author Roffey moves with elegant ease between genres (her previous novel THE TRYST was a powerful, earthy erotic novel) and her new book finds her in gentle magical realist waters. On the island of Black Conch, loosely inspired by her native Tobago, in the 1970s, David, a young fisherman attracts the attention of a mermaid while playing his guitar, and witnesses her swimming close to his boat. Some time later, on the occasion of an annual fishing competition, he inadvertently leads some of the sportsmen towards her and she is captured. Heavy with guilt, David the same evening while others are celebrating, rescues her. Their story unfolds over the course of the next forty years in the pages of his journal, together with third person narration and some insights into the mermaid’s own thoughts. At heart a fantastical love story with a subtle touch of fable with the inevitable bittersweet ending, Roffey’s tale is a celebration of life in the Caribbean and its lush landscapes’ legends, colours and smells and matching emotions, and quickly tugs at the heart in insidious ways. Roffey is now working on a crime novel, which  bodes well.

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This is a review of The Mermaid of Black Conch

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