Interesting short work. The premise is explained by the title, literally - there is a mermaid in Las Vegas. What it doesn't tell you is that this mermaid is real, or that she has a different "name" for what she is. That comes out later on.
This is part gum-shoe detective mystery and part fantastical journey to the world of circus freaks. Oh wait, the world of circus freaks is just your typical day/night in Vegas. Or is it? The story is narrated by Tommy, who happens to be a casino 'dick' - a guy who is so average looking you could have a long conversation with him one night and walk right past him an hour later and not even see him, let alone recognize him.
Tommy works for the Mob, since they own Vegas, or did during the hey-day of the Rat Pack. He is low level, just catching those who try to cheat the casinos out of money, but he has a pretty good read on his boss. Tommy is almost too savvy about women to sound like a real man from that era of Vegas. Which is one of a few notes that feel just a bit off in this story for me.
All of the women in this story are out of tune with the times. While they read well now, they throw a wrench into the realism the author is trying to build. But then again, more often than not, the "dames" in your dime store detective pieces are a whole lot tougher than they look.
The dialogue could use a bit of work, feeling rather stilted in spots. The story begins in fits and starts - to get to the meat of the story the narrator zigs and zags a few times, so that the reader doesn't really know where they are heading. But once the story reaches a certain point it really starts moving and continues at a nice solid pace.
If the book had been longer I think it would have been a trial, but as it reads now the length is about just right. Once you get past the jittery beginning the story becomes pretty entertaining.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)