Out this month is a thrilling debut novel on the GDR doping scandal, Dark Mermaids by Anne Lauppe-Dunbar, published by Seren. Set in 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Officer Sophia Künstler is called on to investigate the death of her old friend Käthe, whose beaten body is found in Sophia's local park.
In order to look into the case, Sophia is forced to return to her childhood home in the former German Democratic Republic. As she reluctantly delves into the sordid Stasi secrets of those she grew up with, Sophia uncovers a web of horrors about her own abusive past as a child swimming star in the GDR. But her hunt for the truth has not gone unnoticed by those close to her, people who still have too much to hide.
Shortlisted for the Impress and Cinnamon First Novel Prize, Dark Mermaids is a shocking story of the horrors of 'State Plan 14.25' and a political system that doped its youngsters to sporting superhero status, and then left them to fend for themselves.