review by Joe Vaz
Hardcover: 352 pages
THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE SAFE …The Sanctum is a luxurious, self-sustaining survival condominium situated underground. It’s a plush bolt-hole for the rich and paranoid – a place where they can wait out the apocalypse in style. When a devastating super-flu virus hits, several families race to reach The Sanctum. All have their own motivations for entering. All are hiding secrets. But when the door locks and someone dies, they realize the greatest threat to their survival may not be above ground – it may already be inside …Under Ground is 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).
So SL Grey have done it again. Under Ground is a tough read, as one has come to expect from SL Grey, but fantastically paced. It is gripping and intense and a hell of a page-turner. I polished this one off in a couple of nights.
Taking on the, now familiar, style of different view-point character chapters, it keeps you engrossed with every new nightmare that befalls this bunch of ironically unprepared preppers, while all the time quietly taking the piss out of this culture of survivalists. Interwoven with the suspense and horror is the added bonus of a murder mystery.
Unfortunately, for me, this is where the book falls flat. As an avid fan of mystery books, I have a few unwritten rules about how they should play out and, I personally felt that Under Ground cheated… but just a little bit. As a result the ending was a bit meh for me. I weirdly found it both predictable and implausible.
But don’t let that put you off, because the preceding 351 pages are a really tight, nail-biting suspense ride – with bonus points if you happen to be claustrophobic.
Not the best offering from SL Grey to date (that would be New Girl), but still a damn good book.