Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
First of all a warning: Under Ground induces claustrophobia. Unless you have chocolate. Chocolate helps.
The Sanctum is an underground bunker system meant to be utilised if the world faces an apocalypse (and let's face it, nothing so great in a book as a good apocalypse, apart from perhaps a story about people trapped underground DURING a possible apocalypse so you have no actual clue what is going on above at all) This novel explores themes of survival and personality within the context of a gorgeously tighty knitted locked room mystery.
An eclectic cast of characters arrive at The Sanctum, desperate to be safe from a creeping virus that is seemingly about to wipe out humanity. But things are not as expected, nothing works as it should and rather than living in the lap of luxury whilst all those left behind die horribly, the group find themselves facing hurdle after hurdle. When it becomes clear that they are quite literally locked in, things go downhill fast especially as there seems to be one amongst them who likes to kill...Talk about Karma. Money can't buy everything you know.
Under Ground reminded me a bit of those old school horror movies - various characters creeping around in the dark, stalked by a killer, playing the blame game - pick your survivor, choose your bad guy, hope to God the REALLY ANNOYING character dies early and basically just have a rip roaring reading time.
In this case collaborating authors Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg have turned all that on it's head and managed to write a truly disturbing character drama that shows the darker side of humanity where at some point it always is every man for himself. The intricacies of the relationships between our protagonists is beautifully drawn as loyalties ebb and flow, it is immensely entertaining, deeply fascinating as a snapshot of human existence and always always spot on the money when it comes to knocking the reader of their game. When you think you know everything you find you know nothing.
As they all descend into their own version of madness it is absolutely gripping, you'd really love to look away but you just can't - completely engrossing, I was riveted. And more than a little freaked out.
There is a throwback feel to this - a Dorothy Sayers and Charlotte Armstrong type vibe when it comes to the mystery element but brought bang up to date with added blood and guts. One of those novels you would LOVE to see translated into film, I'm fairly sure this will haunt my dreams for a while.
Happy Reading Folks!