Few of the Isle of Thanet’s inhabitants continue to face outwards after the winds turn cold and the winter swells rise. Fewer still concern themselves with the distant sand banks where seals rest, the vast kelp forests that shadow the sea beyond the horizon or the old war forts that still tower from the sea miles from shore. Ever since the Merren first entered the water and began to adapt to its depths, they have found ways of remaining hidden.
When a young artist’s obsession with fantastical creatures leads her to discover the Merren’s existence, their power to transmit memory and emotion compels loyalty, but stretches her sanity to breaking point. Alienated from friends, family and what traces of herself she can cling to, Aurellie is compelled to endanger the lives of her loved ones as she becomes a vessel in a deadly plan to rid the waters of a painful disturbance. The only hope of avoiding peril is to uncover the truth in a twisted history of shipwrecks, suicides, lost minds and drownings in her close-knit coastal community.