Review: Black Coral (Underwater Investigation Unit #2) by Andrew Mayne


Print Length: 317 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (February 16, 2021)

From  For a police diver in Florida, solving a cold-case mystery brings a serial killer out of hiding...

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 Rating: 1 star out of 5

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a "thriller" novel doesn't "thrill" me. And that unfortunately was the case with this novel. I never got a sense of urgency with anything that was going on (even when these were scenes that were of importance to the plot). I also never felt a connection to the characters, especially Sloan. I get it - she's one heck of an investigator, but she's also just... annoying. I especially hated her inner monologue, I can read the dialog between characters (or the little things that were nuanced but not mentioned outright) and draw my own conclusions. I don't need to hear her opinion on every little thing.  

I also felt as though things happened a little too easily for her and the team. They stumble on a scene and somehow despite it having happened over 30 years ago, they are able to determine certain aspects of it? And then not only connect it to other crimes, but find the location of a burial ground? And mostly on the word of an addict? I would have liked to have seen more investigating and less having things seemingly handed to them. 

Even the ending didn't have the OH MY GOODNESS impact on me that I am sure the author intended. Instead, by that point I was just kind of like "oh okay". 

All things considered, I think this author has a lot of potential. And I know this book will appeal to others in a way it didn't to me. But I doubt that I will continue on with this series. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                         Black Coral is available from
                                                             (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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