[REVIEW] Black Coral – by Andrew Mayne

(Underwater Investigation Unit, #2)
By Andrew Mayne
Published by Thomas and Mercer
Available February 2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Though Black Coral is book two in a series, the Underwater Investigation Unit does not necessarily need to be read in order. Despite having not read the first book, The Girl Beneath the Sea, I didn’t have any trouble figuring out the characters or backdrop. Think of this like a Jack Reacher novel; you’re given the details you need to know, but the story sits on its own. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me start by saying I almost gave this book a DNF when I started it last week. The first thirty or so pages were so simply written, that I could not get lost in the narrative. I felt like I was reading something from the YA section, which is not my cup of tea. Luckily, the murder mystery was able to snatch me up before I could it it quits. 

Shortly after that rocky start, I was sucked into Black Coral, even if it did feel like an easy read. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to the horror genre, but I wished this was of a darker tone. The cages and bodies could have easily been more haunting. Nevertheless, I found myself immersed in the story and wanting to read “one more chapter” again and again. As such, I finished this novel in two days, despite having work, a crazy kid, and a pregnant wife to distract me.

Andrew Mayne actually reminds me a bit of Lee Child in the way he writes. The lines are often quick and to the point. He gives details without being overly descriptive. The action comes in and out with ease, fast and furious. I’ll continue with this series as it goes along.


Highlights: Quick and easy to read … a solid murder mystery

Shadows: Maybe a little too quick and easy to read … there wasn’t really any twist to the story 

FFO: Fast novels with mystery and suspense

Takeaway: Though I almost gave this one up, I’m glad I didn’t. Black Coral doesn’t leave me with much to say, but I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Would I read this author again? Yes


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