Last updated on August 10th, 2018I read the prequel to Under a while ago (Signal Failure) and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading this book. Under is a brilliant book. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a Londoner, but I was completely hooked by the mysterious stories running through this novel about the ‘ghost stations’ on the Underground. The London Underground is the perfect setting for a horror story and the author has done a fantastic job in creating a suspenseful and intriguing tale using the dark and sinister tunnels of the Tube network as the framework for the story.
The book is well-constructed with two separate stories, years apart, that both link to the tales of disused or abandoned Underground stations. There is the story of Mike Thames, who is desperately writing down his memories of the letters and stories his father had told him about working on the London Underground as a train driver; tales of abandoned stations and ghost stories—and then there’s the story of Jake and his group of expert explorers who are trying to get into these abandoned stations.
I found the structure of the book engrossing. The way some of the narrative was set out in letter form made the story that much more interesting to read, like reading someone’s diary.
The way the two stories come together at the end is cleverly done.
This book is interesting not only because it has a very imaginative and well-constructed story about one family’s history and their connection to the London Underground, but also because it contains so many eye-opening facts interwoven with the fiction, and then there are those parts of the book that make you wonder whether they are fact or fiction. The characters are all believable and seem like real people. There are highs and lows and twists and turns that kept me hooked.
The horror element is nicely woven with social commentary about the state of the world and human nature. I loved the ending; the choice the character has to make is thought-provoking. A masterful twist.
This novel is full of interesting facts, fiction borne from the mysteries of the Tube network, and it will make you think about the fine line between what we believe is true and what is actually true.