The story: Struggling with depression after a family tragedy, a married man encounters a mysterious but beautiful woman on the beach during one of his nightly walks. The two start a torrid affair fueled by lust and obsession. But is she a dream come true or a legendary nightmare come to life?
Opening line: ‘Salt hung in the air like fog; the taste of the ocean filled Andy’s mouth as she led him along the rocks.’
The review: ‘Siren’ is an erotic horror novel about a man named Evan whose uncontrollable attraction for a mystery woman could threaten more than his marriage.
Evan and his wife Sarah live in the California coastal town of Delilah, a port city with a past.
The couple is dealing with debilitating depression following a devastating family tragedy. Sarah drowns her pain in alcohol at the local bar, and Evan seeks isolation on the lonely beach at night.
While Evan regularly visits a psychiatrist, his guilt overshadows his recovery because he believes his fear of the water contributed to the family tragedy.
When Evan hears a beautiful song during one of his walks on the beach, he discovers the source is a strange but ravishing woman named Ligeia.
Soon, the two are engaging in animalistic sex, the best of Evan’s life, and he returns to the beach each night driven by desire and temptation.
An internal battle rages inside Evan between his lust for Ligeia and his love for Sarah.
However, Ligeia plays to win and plays for keeps, and she’s willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure Evan chooses her over Sarah.
The author Everson doubles the suspense of ‘Siren’ by seamlessly weaving the present-day drama of Evan, Sarah and Ligeia with the 1887 account of a ship called the ‘Lady Luck.’ The historical flashbacks provide chilling glimpses into Ligeia’s past.
Everson's writing in ‘Siren’ is watertight with a cinematic flair, and the story finishes strong with a breathless climax and a haunting epilogue.
Ultimately, ‘Siren’ explores the obsession and lust in a man’s heart and what happens when he swims for too long in the ocean of his own fear and weakness.