Release Date: OUT NOW!
368 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author: SL Grey Publisher: Macmillan
If it was announced
that a weaponised virus had been unleashed, what do you reckon you would do? Wait it out and hope for the best? Or hunker down in a subterranean sanctuary?
The characters in Under Ground take the latter option. A group of wealthy strangers lock themselves in the Sanctum, a luxury condo/ bunker in Maine. But things go badly wrong and they soon find themselves with no means of contacting the outside world and a body in the freezer.
This is something of a departure for SL Grey ( the horror duo of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg). Their Downside trilogy was surreal, sick and had shades of Neverwhere as well as Stephen King. In contrast, this is a high- concept thriller.
Are they going mainstream? Sort of. But Under Ground subverts its simple premise with a thick vein of black humour and a gleeful disregard for its viral McGuffin. This isn’t a book about the flu, but about the fears that drive a group of disparate people to think – and do – the worst. Throw in a gun- loving, Joffrey Lannister- level arsehole and you know that things are not going to turn out well.
Some of the twists are a touch predictable and it’s not as uniquely unsettling as the previous Grey novels, but Under Ground shifts from slow- burn chills to its frantic finale with considerable expertise. A gripping book – and definitely not for the claustrophobic. Will Salmon The teenage Sarah Lotz spent time homeless in Paris. The experiences later informed her novel Pompidou Posse.