Thursday, February 16, 2023

Sea Castle

Sea Castle by Andrew Mayne
2/21/23; 316 pages

Thomas & Mercer

Sea Castle by Andrew Mayne is a very highly recommended procedural/psychological thriller. This is the fourth novel in the Underwater Investigation Unit series which also includes The Girl Beneath the Sea, Black Coral, and Sea Storm, but it can most definitely be read and relished as a stand alone novel.

Police forensic diver Sloan McPherson of the currently inactive Florida Department of Law Enforcement Underwater Investigation Unit is called in to assist when a young woman's body is discovered on a Fort Lauderdale beach. Floating near the body is a bag containing the woman's clothing. Sloan is positive it is murder and the dead woman, identified as Nicole Donnelly, was strangled. The rest of the team of investigators have questions and doubts after the autopsy. Sloan decides to pursue the case, which leads her to Gwen Wylder.

Gwen is a rude, obsessive, intelligent Miami homicide detective. While she looks at Sloan's case, she demands Sloan look at two different cold cases she is investigating. As Sloan looks into the cold cases and finds new clues and answers, another woman disappears. Sloan and Gwen form a fractious partnership trying to find the person who is killing women.

Sloan and Gwen are both wonderfully strong and fully realized female characters. Their backgrounds are explored within the plot and the development of their characters continue throughout the novel. As the narrative progresses there is a character presented that will confound and throw most readers off course.

The writing is excellent in this fast-paced engrossing procedural that reads like a psychological thriller. I absolutely loved this entertaining and gripping novel and need to look at the other books in the series. The twists and new revelations in the plot are focused, surprising and unique. I found myself glued to the pages and totally immersed in the story. Even though there isn't a lot of underwater investigation in Sea Castle, there is still a fascinating and exciting investigation related to the ocean. The final denouement was a surprise and unexpected. Sea Castle is an outstanding novel with a captivating narrative!

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.


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