Monday, February 15, 2021

Review: Black Coral by Andrew Mayne

Title: Black Coral
Author: Andrew Mayne
Series: Underwater Investigation Unit, #2
Published: February 2021, Thomas & Mercer
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher via MB Communications

For a police diver in Florida, solving a cold-case mystery brings a serial killer out of hiding in a deep, dark thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Naturalist.

Sloan McPherson and the Underwater Investigation Unit have discovered a van at the bottom of a murky Florida pond. Sealed inside the watery tomb are the bodies of four teenagers who disappeared thirty years ago after leaving a rock concert. To authorities, it looks like a tragic accident. To Sloan, it looks like murder. Every piece of evidence is starting to connect to a string of cold case vanishings throughout Florida. Clue by clue, Sloan navigates the warm, dark waters where natural predators feed, knowing that the most dangerous one is still above the surface—nesting and dormant.

But when a fresh young kill is found in the Everglades, Sloan fears that her investigation has reawakened a monster. How can she catch someone who’s a genius at hiding in plain sight? By acting as prey. The dangerous gambit is working—only too well. She’s being lured into a deception of the madman’s own design. Has Sloan set a trap for a serial killer? Or has he set one for her?

My thoughts: This is the second book in Andrew Mayne's Underwater Investigation Unit series and I am absolutely loving it! I first became a fan of this author when I read his Jessica Blackwood series and now this latest series is proving to be just as fun and captivating.

It's no secret that I love police procedurals but when you add in underwater diving, it just ups the ante. There's such added layer of tension because of the danger associated with it. I personally don't dive but my husband does, and I know how dangerous it can be but also how exhilarating it can be, too. I love that I feel like I am right there with Sloan when she is underwater - that's such a cool feeling, though at times a bit scary, especially when you come face to face with a rather large alligator!

This book really keeps things moving. After discovering an abandoned van underwater with four bodies inside that had been missing for thirty years, Sloan knows in her gut that the police are off their mark in saying it's just a crazy drug-induced night gone wrong. When more bodies turn up, Sloan knows there is something more to this...possibly a serial killer and it appears the killer has decades of experience hiding in plain sight. Can Sloan and the team figure out a way to lure the killer out before they kill again?

Sloan McPherson is such a fascinating character.  She is complicated and an utter force to be reckoned with! She's stubborn and willing to think outside the box, which works to her advantage in this case. I love her willingness to follow her instincts, even when it means sometimes going up against her superiors. In this second book, we find out more of what makes her tick, what makes her who she is. I love that she has such a hard time thinking before acting...but this is definitely something we see her working on...or at least trying.

This book, the second in the series, does stand on it's own, but of course, I would highly recommend reading the prior book, The Girl Beneath the Sea, first. By doing so, you will understand not only the character dynamics but also a bit more about the Underwater Investigative Unit itself and why it's in the situation it is in right now. Of course, you can always read this one first and then go back.

This is such a fun, thrilling series and I do so hope there is another book to come. This latest one starts with a bang and never lets up...those are always my favorite kind of crime thrillers. 


Books in this series:

  1. The Girl Beneath the Sea
  2. Black Coral



1 comment

  1. I’m intrigued by the idea of an Underwater Investigative Unit, thanks for sharing your thoughts


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