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Publisher's Summary

A Wall Street Journal bestseller.

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 best-selling 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 30 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?

©2021 by Andrew Mayne. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Black Coral

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Strong Lead!

Actually I'm writing this "Preview " before I listen to this book based on the first one in this series! If you're fed up with weak winey female leads get the first book, The Girl Beneath the Sea so you can enjoy the second book even more! The narrator does a fantastic job and brings a real sense of being to each character! I have approximately 650 books in my library and love it when I find a book I can listen to over and over again! It's an easy listen that won't leave you confused while multitasking a busy day!

7 people found this helpful

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Great second book!

Love this series! Book two honestly got a bit creepier than I usually choose to read, but I so love the main protagonist that I completely overlooked that it. In fact, everything about this series is fantastic, including the interesting setting, all of multi-dimensional support characters, and the fascinating details about diving and apex predators. The narrator is phenomenal, too! I so bummed I have to wait a full year for book 3. Highly recommend!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • GM
  • 02-21-21

Too many characters for 5 stars

I enjoyed the backdrop of the life of an underwater diver where I learned terminology and mechanics about the profession.
The plot was good but used too many characters to tell the story. It was difficult keeping up w all the names trying to determine whether they were going to be important in the end solution.
The narrator was good as the voice of main character, but simply lowered an octave to be a man’s voice, which is just “meh”.
Lastly, I kept wanting to like the main character, but although she is very bright, she kept opening her mouth talking without thinking which demonstrated immaturity. I wanted to jump into the story when she was talking to her coworkers or her boss, pull her aside, and give her some advice, “wait 3 seconds before you speak and think through whether you’re gonna piss them off too much which will interfere with your future conversations!!”

2 people found this helpful

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What a Combo

Susannah Jones reading Andrew Mayne doesn't get much better. Hurry up with the 3rd book.

1 person found this helpful

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Book came alive!!!

The reader was excellent. I felt like it was a live play being done on stage with the inflections in her voice. Well done!

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Great Action but Misleading Premise

I quite enjoyed "The Girl Beneath the Sea", so when I saw Andrew Mayne came out with a sequel, it went straight onto my To Read list. I live in the South Florida area, and I scuba dive myself, so I absolutely loved all of those scenes. Sure, some things are unrealistic, but I think Mayne builds tension up enough in order to make Sloan McPherson's bending of the rules believable enough to enjoy the story!

"Black Coral" is the second in the Underwater Investigation Unit (aka: the UIU) series, and more pressure is on the gang to get things right, so when McPherson gets a hunch that cases aren't closing right, she really has to prove herself in order to confirm her theories. The balance between McPherson's home, work, and school was done well. The new characters we are introduced to are, for the most part, well written. Mayne really knows how to write action scenes, and man have his opening chapters for these two books been perfect! What a pro at "the hook".

However, there a few things that prevent this book from being a 5/5 for me. There was some tension and competition built up between the UIU and other departments that never got resolved; maybe relationships will be developed more in other series installments, but the other department gave the UIU a "get a lead in 3 days or we take the case away from you" ultimatum. Then we never hear from the other department again.... so is the last quarter of the book supposed to take place over the course of only 3 days, or was the surveillance detail supposed to be their "new lead" that got approved for additional time? Once our team knew the killer's identity, the book ended in a speedy whirlwind. I got confused on the timeline because of this, and I'm left not knowing what the other police departments think about how UIU handled this case. Is there still bad blood brewing, or was this supposed to be the "big break" our protagonists pulled off?

Additionally, I expected more saltwater diving. The title and cover implied that deeper waters over coral reefs might've been where the action would take place, but the book isn't about that at all. McPherson only dives 3 times, once for 5 min to retrieve something at the bottom of a harbor, and the other 2 times in awesome, but only freshwater lake, situations. I really liked the Everglades setting, but I wish more plot-relevant action happened there, and I wish McPherson got in the water a little more. Hopefully next time?

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When is the Next Book?

I really enjoy books by Andrew Mayne. Once I start one it is hard to stop listening. I hope he continues this series. Especially since I live in Florida.

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Just as good as the first!

Loved it! Performance was wonderful, some narrators can ruin a book... Characters and story line were great. I enjoyed getting to know each of them better.

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Love this series.

I have enjoyed Andrew Mayne's story and Susannah Jones's performance. Looking forward to the next one.

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another winner!

love Andrew's story lines and writing. His books keep my interest and are just wonderful. I would highly recommend!