- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market edition (16 July 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 144726648X
- ISBN-13: 978-1447266488
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,096,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Under Ground Hardcover – 16 Jul 2015
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Under Ground is well paced and it certainly has the potential to become a classic thriller . . . It's full of well-developed characters, captivating twists and an unpredictable conclusion that will have any thriller fan guessing all the way through. A thoroughly enjoyable read (Starburst)
Atmospheric, readable and all too plausible. Under Ground is a grim, effective chiller that takes you to the edge and leaves you there (SciFiNow)
Grey does a great job of sustaining that singularly unsettling sense that something awful is going to go wrong-and I dare say something is always going to go awfully wrong in The Sanctum . . . Under Ground is a brilliant jumping-on point for horror fans who haven't already gone Grey (Tor.com)
Underground is essentially what would happen if Stephen King woke up one morning as Agatha Christie (Fantasy-faction.com)
Under Ground is a taught, tight and claustrophobic novel that uses its small cast of characters and the confined and limited narrative settings to great effect . . .It will grab your attention from the first chapter and have you hooked right up to the perfect ending (Gingernutsofhorror.com)
A fast-paced, slow-burn thriller . . . this is a gripping, briskly-paced novel of psychological suspense and the fragility of social norms. Grey's prose is superb, stripped down and briskly-paced, it keeps the novel moving forward (Civilianreader.wordpress.com)
Absorbing reading (Grabthisbook.net)
This book kept me on the edge of my seat, to the very end (Jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.co.uk)
It'sJG Ballard meets Agatha Christie, with a soupcon of Patricia Highsmith thrown in. Grey rotates the viewpoint through the eyes of five very different characters, ramps up the tension to an almost unbearable level, and ends with a stunning double finale. (GUARDIAN)
Cramped, claustrophobic and menacing, with a climax that kicks the stuffing out of you. (Independent)
A page-turning locked-room mystery from the combined talents of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, writing as S. L. Grey. It is perfect for fans of Under the Dome by Stephen King and films such as The Hole and The Descent (with a pinch of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie).See all Product description
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The story unfolds from the viewpoint of a different character each chapter, which I initially found a bit irritating but, by the end, had to acknowledge was an appropriate and rather clever technique, as it provides enough opinions, views and clues to set the reader speculating as to who could be behind the bloody deeds that ensue.
There are a few twists along the way, which the astute reader may predict, but one major one totally blind-sided me and didn't feel entirely convincing.
Only criticism would be that some of the characters tread perilously close to becoming clichés at times (most notably the Guthries) but, I guess, characters like that really do exist in the USA?
Overall, a decently-written murder-mystery with an apocalyptic bent, which rattles along at a very good pace and which certainly held my interest until the quite disturbing but genuinely satisfying conclusion. Certainly not classic literature, but well worth a read!
Most books dealing with this kind of subject – zombies or flu - look at the world after it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Or at the very least they show the pandemic start, spread, cross beyond the point of no return, societal collapse, and then the aftermath. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good post-apocalyptic novel or film, but what I think many writers miss is the rich seam of a society teetering on the edge, the psychology of people as their world balancess on the brink. And it is here that S.L. Grey place their story.
Basically, a bunch of rich people have bought into a bunker should the world go to poop. An outbreak of flu breaks out, thousands upon thousands are dying, these rich folk head for the hills. But upon entering their sanctuary things go wrong. First, it’s not quite as cosy and well constructed as it looked in the brochure. Second, the various families don’t know each other until they get there and then when they do, they don’t all get along. And third, people start dying. I won’t say anymore should I divulge spoilers, but needless to say things go downhill from here.
I liked this book, I liked it a lot. It’s kinda like reading an account of a very dodgy series of that programme Big Brother, one where none of the contestants are particularly nice, they might die in horrible ways at any moment, and you just can’t help but watch. Or like when you drive by an accident on the motorway, you know you shouldn’t look, but you just have to. I say that in a good way. I found it compelling. I didn’t really warm to any of the characters, but I think that was almost the point; you just wanted to know which one would be bumped off next.
But that is the brochure. When a virus breaks out in Asia and spreads quickly to threaten the US, five families race to the Sanctum - the Parks, the Guthries, the Gills (with au pair Cait), the Maddoxes and the Dannhausers. They discover that there is only one thing worse than the apocalypse and that's trying to survive the apocalypse in the Sanctum. It is incomplete, inadequately stocked, its medical room not yet built, and the man in charge - Greg Fuller (living on floor 2) - is clearly a man to cut the corners that matter most. When the Sanctum is sealed with no way to reopen its vault doors, the residents discover that they have entered a hell that rivals the outside panic that is beamed into their televisions. One of their number is found dead, murdered, and it's not long before others follow, along with power, internet and then more basic needs. And as the numbers decline, the Sanctum grows darker, dirtier and takes up a stench that cannot be overcome.
Under Ground is a fast, tense and extremely claustrophobic horror thriller in which the Sanctum almost takes on a life of its own, doing all it can to rot the lives of the men, women and children captured inside it. Events outside are most definitely secondary to this more private and intimate apocalypse. The horror of the Sanctum and the awful fate of its inhabitants is rivalled in unpleasantness by the nature of those inhabitants. With extremely few exceptions, these are not likeable people and as the narrative moves between them it becomes easier and easier to wonder (or hope) which of them will be picked off next.
There is a classic feel to the mystery - a whodunnit within a confined setting, the murderer living among his or her victims, an increasing sense of terror and self-preservation experienced by those left standing, for now. Under Ground has an added atmosphere of horror, thanks to the scenario, the entrapment and the almost Shining feel that the Sanctum is turning people mad.
The novel is successful in evoking mood and atmosphere but its characters work less well. There are stereotypes galore here - the redneck family that treads on its women, rapes for fun and wants to shoot foreigners; the Asian brainy kid; the mysterious spy; the fat woman who does good but could easily die making the effort; the glamorous younger wife with her annoying little dog; and the grief stricken father who can't deal with his daughter. And others. This did make me consider abandoning the novel at one point, especially when the threat of rape becomes a prominent theme. However, the second part of the novel - once the numbers of the unpleasant have been reduced - is much more absorbing and it does become intriguing. The mystery grows and the conclusion is gripping.
The authors (Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg) do a wonderful job of conveying the fear, misery and disgust of the Sanctum's inhabitants. The stench is palpable. Under Ground is an undemanding and entertaining read that builds to an exhilarating and surprising end. I do, though, think it could have delivered much more. I'm grateful for the review copy.
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I was really drawn to the cover of this book.Read more
It is not the first survivalist thriller I read, nor it is the best, however I enjoyed reading it and would recommend to anyone...Read more