Under Ground by S L Grey
|Under Ground by S L Grey
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
|Summary: A locked-in thriller that's fast-paced and tense. Underground you should trust no one.
|Date: February 2016
|External links: Author's website
When a devastating super-flu hits, a collection of the paranoid and super-wealthy decide to hole up in a state of the art, luxury underground bunker complex. It doesn't get off to a great start. The separate families don't gel together, the 'luxury' isn't at all what they'd been promised and soon they realise that they would be safer on the outside. When the owner dies mysteriously, the residents of the sanctum are locked in and are being picked off one by one ... but is it a series of fluke accidents, or is there a killer among them? They are trapped together, with no outside communication and with no choice but to rely on those they mistrust. With tension high and food and water low, luxury civilisation has turned into the rules of the jungle. The question is, who will survive? (If anyone ...)
The main thing I took away from this story is this: if a super-virus hits us, I'm taking my chances with the virus rather than being locked in with a bunch of mental strangers. Read and I'm sure you'll agree. I really enjoyed this story. I couldn't put it down and I didn't work out what was going on. Grey creates an unbearable feeling of claustrophobia and that need to keep checking what's behind you.
Under Ground has lots of protagonists (or antagonists) and is told in multiple perspectives. The families are the gun-tooting, redneck Guthries, the American-asian Parks, the mysterious Tyson Gill, his daughter and the nanny Cait, who was dragged along against her will. There's also the useless and affected lawyers the Maddoxes, the Dannhausers and their forty year old daughter, and Will Boucher who came to help his friend Greg, the owner, and finds himself trapped. Pretty much none of the characters are likeable, with the exception of young Jae-Lin, Tyson's nanny, Cait, and Will Boucher. The Guthries are nothing short of terrifying, actually. The collision of personalities was an excellent idea and means your list of potential suspects is narrowed down to everyone.
The only negative comment I have about this book is that Cait's story was told in first person but everyone else was in third person. But apart from that I loved it. It's just good fun, wonderfully tense and in places, perversely funny. The characterisation is excellent and that really makes the story. I highly recommend this book. Any mystery where I can't guess the ending will always get a big thumbs up (well done Grey, you have bested me). This is wonderful escapist reading (which is ironic given the subject matter).
Thank you to the bookbag and the publishers for my copy.
If you like the sound of this, try Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
You can read more book reviews or buy Under Ground by S L Grey at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
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