BOOK BITES | Mia Arderne, Arlan Hamilton, Susie Steiner

11 October 2020 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Books
'Mermaid Fillet' by Mia Arderne, 'It's About Damn Time' by Arlan Hamilton, and 'Remain Silent' by Susie Steiner.
'Mermaid Fillet' by Mia Arderne, 'It's About Damn Time' by Arlan Hamilton, and 'Remain Silent' by Susie Steiner.
Image: Supplied

Published in the Sunday Times (11/10/2020)

Mermaid Fillet ****
Mia Arderne 
Kwela, R260

Arderne has created a dark, gritty Cape Town that is full of gangsters, violence and crime. But in Arderne's story there's a black market for mermaid tails and a vengeful Goddess who coats the city in red in response to gender-based violence. The slang, language and prose move to the beat of an unheard song as we follow the damaged characters in their wild rise and fall. This unique and witty novel will have you laughing, even as you cringe. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage ***
Arlan Hamilton with Rachel L Nelson
Crown Publishing Group, R380

Hamilton does a great job of making the reader feel like they're a friend she's having an intimate conversation with, letting them into her truth. While her narrative is about helping black, LGBTQI+ women in a white, male-dominated industry, her rags-to-riches story will appeal to all. She does a fine job of weaving in her emotions and life experiences and does an even better job of outlining practical things she's done to improve her life and to become the successful venture capitalist she is today. Chrizelda Kekana

Remain Silent ****
Susie Steiner
HarperCollins, R330

There's a lot going on in this third book in the Huntingdon series which features DI Manon Bradshaw of Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Steiner's detective is still formidable, nuanced and authentic and as crabby as ever, but now there are extra layers of anxiety and middle-age melancholy as the drudge of everyday wears her down. While worrying about her partner Mark, who is diagnosed with cancer, her baby Teddy and adopted teenage son Fly, Bradshaw is pulled into investigating the death of a Lithuanian migrant worker. Lukas is one of many who come to Britain hoping for a better life but are trapped in to modern-day slavery by gangmasters who rent them out to work on farms. A perceptive and shrewd thriller. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt