Audiobook Review: Sea Storm by Andrew Mayne
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 3.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series: Book 3 of Underwater Investigation Unit
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (March 29, 2022)
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Sea Storm is the third book of the Underwater Investigation Unit series by Andrew Mayne which begins with a distress call from a cruise ship sinking off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. As part of a designated marine law enforcement task force, protagonist Sloan McPherson and her colleague Scott Hughs find themselves lending aid to the massive rescue effort to get all the passengers into lifeboats as quickly as possible, but then reports come that several crew members are still trapped below decks and are unable to escape. With the integrity of the ship’s hull compromised, time is quickly running out, but luckily the UIU are well equipped to handle the situation.
What’s more troubling though, is how the cruise ship came to be disabled in the first place. The damage appears to have been caused by an explosion, and authorities are quick to point the finger at a notorious ecoterrorism group, especially when more ships across the country are coming under threat. However, Sloan isn’t so sure the answer is that simple, and goes on an investigative dive on her own before the evidence can be swept away by the area’s turbulent storms. When she makes a startling discovery on the ocean floor, Sloan’s determination to get to the truth will put her in the crosshairs of some powerful individuals who will stop at nothing to eliminate obstacles standing in their way.
I am a big fan of Andrew Mayne’s work and have enjoyed every book I’ve read by him, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t love Sea Storm. It’s probably the weakest of the Underwater Investigation Unit books thus far, though that is most likely down to personal taste. For example, the previous book Black Coral was more to my liking, focusing on solving cold cases or catching serial killers. In contrast, here we have a story with greater emphasis on internal politics and UIU’s constant struggle to keep others from shutting them down, and I just don’t find the topic as interesting. In addition to that, I was slightly disappointed we didn’t get as much of the “underwater investigation” angle in this one.
On the plus side though, we got a lot more character development as Sea Storm explores Sloan McPherson’s relationships with the people closest to her, including her family members and colleagues. Sloan still maintains a close friendship with her ex, and their daughter Jackie is playing a bigger role in the series as she matures, going on dives with her parents and helping her mom with the investigation. The story also features greater involvement from Scott as he and Sloan are getting a better feel for each other’s working styles, and their boss George Solar gets major points from me as well for his tireless fight to establish legitimacy for the UIU.
Another interesting development is the way Mayne has begun gradually bringing the different worlds of his multiple series together. Recently, readers were treated to a team-up between Jessica Blackwood and The Naturalist’s Theo Cray in Mastermind, and it was confirmed in Sea Storm that the Underwater Investigation Unit books also take place in the same “universe.” So who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a collaboration involving Sloan as well.
Bottom line, I’m still interested in continuing the Underwater Investigation Unit series and I hope there will be plenty more books to come, especially if Susannah Jones will continue to narrate the audio editions, because she’s awesome and a great voice for Sloan. But all in all, I would also love for the stories to go back to focus more on the police procedural element and, of course, more diving!