Book Review: The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Payne

The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Payne

Posted August 9, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

The Girl Beneath the Sea

The Girl Beneath the Sea

by Andrew Mayne

Series: Underwater Investigation Unit #1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer on May 1, 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Target Age Group: Adult
Content Warnings: Blood, Death, Gore, Gun Violence, Murder, Violence

Rating: ★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at

Coming from scandalous Florida treasure hunters and drug smugglers, Sloan McPherson is forging her own path, for herself and for her daughter, out from under her family’s shadow. An auxiliary officer for Lauderdale Shores PD, she’s the go-to diver for evidence recovery. Then Sloan finds a fresh kill floating in a canal—a woman whose murky history collides with Sloan’s. Their troubling ties are making Sloan less a potential witness than a suspect. And her colleagues aren’t the only ones following every move she makes. So is the killer.

Stalked by an assassin, pitted against a ruthless cartel searching for a lost fortune, and under watch within her ranks, Sloan has only one ally: the legendary DEA agent who put Sloan’s uncle behind bars. He knows just how deep corruption runs—and the kind of danger Sloan is in. To stay alive, Sloan must stay one step ahead of her enemies—both known and unknown—and a growing conspiracy designed to pull her under.


I think that The Girl Beneath the Sea was the perfect thriller for me to bring on vacation. When choosing a vacation book, it’s nice to have something that isn’t too in-depth or complicated so that you can just relax and not feel so emotionally invested, we are still being vaguely entertained. At least, that’s how I do it. The Girl Beneath the Sea had a fairly simple premise, and left no surprises. I was able to read most of the book in a single day, and more than anything it was satisfying just to have it off my TBR.

Sloan McPhearson is not a particularly memorable character. She is a cookie cutter style low level cop with a unique ability. She has a daughter and is unmarried and unattached, although she is still good friends with her daughter’s father, Run. We see more of her father in this book then we do of her daughter, although Mayne continuously uses the safety of Jackie to motivate Sloan‘s behaviour. One of the things that bothered me the most about this is that the reader is only told a little about Jackie and Sloan’s relationship, but we never really get the opportunity to see either of them in a more humanitarian light. There was a development in the last couple chapters which revolved around one of Sloan’s greatest fears coming to pass, except from Sloan’s behaviour, you wouldn’t know that was happening, and the fact that the two characters showed up where and when they did made no story sense.

I thought there could be more development of Sloan’s father, or at least her uncle. It seemed like there were a lot of missed character opportunities in this book that were buried under the need to have a fast moving plot and some sensational moments. The book would have been much more successful if Payne had focused more on developing his characters and world and relationships instead of writing another non-memorable thriller that you know the ending of right after you’ve started the book.

That’s one of the best things about reading a thriller, the guessing and second-guessing along the way while you try to figure out who done it. This book was so predictable, and characters jumped to so many conclusions without any hard evidence in the background that it was easy to see from early on where the story was going to go and what would happen at the end. A lot of the ties between Sloan and the other characters are tenuous at best, and I did not feel like the occurrences in The Girl Beneath the Sea justified for the way that the book was written. It may have moved at a steady pace, but in many ways it still wasted time because there was nothing very special, interesting, or surprising about this book.

If you enjoy paperback thrillers, then I am sure you will like The Girl Beneath the Sea well enough. It is not a memorable or exciting book, but it is a good quick beach read if you’re looking for something a bit more of like a police procedural than a fluffy romance. It is not my favourite book and I know I won’t read it again, but I can definitely see the market for books like this. If you decide to read it, I hope you really enjoy it.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★
Plot: ★★
Characters: ★ 1/2
Writing: ★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★

2 Star rating


The Girl Beneath the Sea Will be Donated

Simply put, this book didn’t have enough intrigue to inspire me to want to read it again.  In fact, it barely kept me interested enough during my first read through and if I hadn’t read this on vacation with all the time in the world, it probably would have caused a slump because I was so uninvested.

That said, I think it is a really good example of a certain sun genre of thrillers.  While it happens those types of thrillers don’t generally catch my attention, it’s good enough or what it is, and I left it behind on the Jade to be passed on or added to the library.  I hope the next person likes it!


Are you a certified diver?  There was a training place in the little town I grew up in, but I never go certified and now I’m a bit less interested.  Still, the underwater world certainly is interesting – would you want to get certified?  Let me know in the comments!

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | LibraryThing | The StoryGraph | BookTube


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.