The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne (Underwater Investigation Unit #1)

The Girl BeneathMy Five Word TL:DR Review : Gripping, tense, unique, thrilling ride

Okay, I already know that I like this author.  I mean I’m loving the Naturalist series, it’s literally like a blast of fresh air, and so to be honest wanting to read The Girl Beneath the Sea was something of a no-brainer for me and one that worked out really well because, again, Mayne seems to have pulled another rabbit out of the hat (or fish out of the water) with this unique murder mystery.

The Girl Beneath the Sea really hits the ground running.  We immediately meet Sloan McPherson who is on a dive, this isn’t exactly business, nor is it pleasure.  For her day job Sloan is a diver for Lauderdale Shores PD, Florida, however, she’s also a student and is out trying to uncover something interesting for one of her tutors.  Of course, this is an off schedule dive and so when she recovers a dead body things become a little tricky. The thing is, Sloan’s family have something of a history. Her uncle is serving time and her father is something of a pirate (or a treasure hunter as he prefers) so, of course Sloan’s reputation is sometimes called into repute and this murder victim, who it turns out she knows, doesn’t make her tarnished rep look any better.

In some respects this holds traits of The Naturalist.  Sloan is something of a wild card, she doesn’t exactly play by the rules and once she has a notion she pretty much acts on it which leads to some crazy, and scary, situations.  However, it differs in that Sloan is not as much of a loner, she has an ex partner and a daughter and is in regular contact with her father.  It also has a lot of tension, the story line ratchets the tension up at an impressive rate, there’s never a dull moment and this is further heightened by the short snappy chapters and gripping plotting.

The difference with The Girl Beneath the Sea is the style.  Sloan feels like she has a team or support network and although she can be a bit reckless she loves her job and doesn’t antagonise people in quite the way that Theo from the Naturalist does.  This also has more of a police procedural style story although, this is with Mayne’s own very special kind of twist that does involve a little natural suspension of disbelief.

The setting is great. Based out of Florida there are natural dangers to diving – alligators and snakes to name but a few.  Not to mention other divers who work for the drug cartels!  There are canals and underwater tunnels, scenes out at sea where deep sea diving brings it’s very own set of problems and plenty of time spent aboard boats of one description or another.

The other characters.  Well, there are others on the periphery, such as Sloan’s ex and her daughter but the other main character is a guy called Solar.  He’s not popular with Sloan’s family, as you may imagine after you discover his evidence put Sloan’s uncle away for years for drug smuggling, but there’s more to him than initially meets the eye, and I liked him and thought the two worked well together.  There’s certainly plenty of potential for further instalments with their newly established UIU – that’s right, a new agency to add to the list of secret units (the Underwater Investigation Unit).

In terms of criticisms.  I can’t really think of anything to be honest,  Like I said above, Mayne has a very over the top style of writing that skirts on the edges of disbelief so if that doesn’t appeal to you be aware.

One thing that I’m beginning to think when picking up anything that Andrew Mayne writes is to expect the unexpected and I hope for more from Sloan in the not so distant future.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above opinion is my own.

Mr rating 4 out of 5 stars


13 Responses to “The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne (Underwater Investigation Unit #1)”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I enjoyed this one too! It’s not as wild as The Naturalist, but I like the more grounded police procedural style of the story.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Exactly, and I don’t recall having read a police procedural style story from the pov of a police diver which I really enjoyed.
      Lynn 😀

  2. pagesandtea

    I came across this going through my e-reader a little while ago. It sounds really different from the sort of thing I’d usually read. I also have The Naturalist as well so after reading your review I’m not sure which one I should start first. 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I like both and they share a certain style being the same author – however, The Naturalist is a little over the top (which I really liked because of all the convoluted theories – kind of puts me in mind of a modern day Sherlock, detached from everyday life and incredibly intelligent and complex. The Girl Beneath is more Police Procedural but the MC is still a little reckless and it feels quite unique because she’s a police diver and I don’t recall reading such a story previously.
      Lymm 😀

      • pagesandtea

        I still like the sound of both of them. Police Procedural would probably be a bigger change from my usual reading, I can’t remember the last time I read anything like that at all. Looks like they’re both staying on the TBR then 😀

      • @lynnsbooks

        They’re both good imho. I do find that I’m enjoying the idea of a police procedural atm and it is a quick read. I recommend both tbh.
        Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    While my encounter with the first book in The Naturalist didn’t end well, I’m ready to give this author another chance and this new series seems less… far-fetched than his previous one: I particularly like the fact that the protagonist is not the trope-y “I’m doing this all alone” kind…
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, I will just say that although Sloan teams up with someone she also does kind of rush into things a little, but, yes, this is not as far fetched as the Naturalist.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Tammy

    I definitely want to start this series, I think the second book comes out next year!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I’ve already seen that there’s a second book and I’m so excited for that. Of course I’d also like to complete the Naturalist. And, this is such a quick easy read I think you’ll blast through it.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    Oh I remember hearing about this one and thinking it looked good, glad to see that you liked it so well!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was really good – of course I love his Naturalist series too, but this was so refreshingly different.
      lynn 😀

  6. Looking Back at 2020 : The Ghost of Books Past | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne – another favourite author.  I love his Naturalist series and I think this could be the start of another very enjoyable and easy to read set of books involving a character with sharp wits. […]

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