cover image Sea Castle

Sea Castle

Andrew Mayne. Thomas & Mercer, $16.99 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-6625-0641-3

The discovery of a naked woman’s body on a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beach propels Thriller Award finalist Mayne’s stellar fourth thriller featuring police diver Sloan McPherson of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Underwater Investigation Unit (after 2022’s Sea Storm). Floating near the corpse is a plastic bag containing women’s clothing, but there are no identifying marks. Convinced that the dead woman, eventually ID’d as Nicole Donnelly, was strangled, McPherson decides to pursue the mystery. She approaches Gwen Wylder, an obsessive police detective, who agrees to review the case file if McPherson looks into an unrelated case. Their partnership leads them to conclude that Donnelly’s death was one in a series. McPherson, who’s determined to get justice for Donnelly, uses unconventional means both to persuade the crotchety Wylder to assist her and to demonstrate that Donnelly had been in the water only a few hours before she was found, a significant fact in reconstructing the events leading to her murder. Mayne combines a brilliant, innovative female lead with a plausibly twisty plot. Kinsey Millhone fans will love McPherson. Agent: Erica Silverman, Trident Literary. (Feb.)