Book Review: Underneath

by 'Ard Pete

What’s that? Pete’s writing a review… on a book? Yeah what of it? I read books; sometimes.

Usually I’m the type of person that’s quite content on reading a few pages of a book, putting it down and watching television. Because man, I love television. If there’s nothing worth watching then I’ll usually pop on a film, most likely a Nicolas Cage or John Cusack film. Sometimes I’ll treat myself and put on Con Air.

Anyway where was I? Oh yeah. Books.

Reviewing books isn’t really my thing, I’m not what you’d call an avid reader however taking part in NaNoWriMo and actually writing a novel of my own has given me renewed interest in reading again if only to pick up pointers on how to write. This brings me to today where one of my favourite writers on WordPress, Michael Cargill announced the release of his first novel; Underneath. I didn’t even know he was writing a novel so I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only does he write for his self titled site but he has also written stories and self published them. This is the first attempt at writing a full flowing novel and well… wow.

I find him to be one of the funniest writers I’ve come to know and didn’t hesitate in downloading a copy of his self published novel for my Kindle. I began reading it and before reaching the end of the first chapter I realized I couldn’t put it down and by the time I realized it I was already on chapter 10. Just like a video game where you’re hooked into the story and can’t stop playing; I couldn’t stop reading.

The story largely takes place from two different perspectives; two separate story that eventually intertwine into one with the first being from the perspective of a man who somehow manages to make money without actually doing any honest work named Hugh; obviously mentally disturbed due to a past tragedy, though he himself isn’t aware of this and the other perspective comes from two police officers, Clare and Robert who share a great friendship and at times maybe a hint of sexual tension.

As I read on I found that I could identify with Hugh quite a bit; scarily in fact and it was even scarier to think I may myself be capable of doing some of the things he’d done but I haven’t had the family tragedy like he has so I’m safe for now. The shift in mental states was written perfectly by Cargill as you can genuinely tell at times he doesn’t know about his other self, his other darker personality. One side he’s the charming, handsome man that can get into any pair of knickers he wants then suddenly he can snap and be a snarling, drooling beast that wouldn’t hesitate to snap a neck or a two.

The descriptions about life in general in the book were pretty bang on and sometimes maybe even drawing from personal experience at points as a lot of observational comedy is present in the book written in the classic blunt Cargill way. Such as the supermarket scene which literally made me laugh out loud; who doesn’t feel like doing that in supermarkets? Or the part about trains and taxi’s right at the beginning, I’ve done that myself.

I don’t want to give too much away so you’ll need to read it yourself to fully appreciate it. I just know that very few authors have managed to keep me totally engrossed in a book and at a shade under 47,000 words it can be read in a day. But whether it’s 47,000 words or 147,000 words I still wouldn’t have been able to put it down and probably would have lost a couple of days sleep in the process.

The suspense at some points in the book actually made me cringe; the only person that likes thriller more than me is Michael Jackson and it’s definitely a book that’s worth purchasing. I can already say my book will probably pale in comparison to this and that’s not me being modest, that’s just how high I think of Michael Cargill and his work.

For a first offering (novel-wise) he definitely gets 5 stars from me and I very much look forward to his future work.

You can purchase his book (and his other published work) from his Smashwords Page at the modest price of $3.30 which I can assure you is definitely worth the money.


11 Comments to “Book Review: Underneath”

  1. Reblogged this on Evolution.Of.Insanity v2 and commented:

    My first book review; fitting for Cargill’s first novel.

  2. I love hearing about good books and great new authors. Thanks.

  3. Nice review Pete! Michael must be pleased!

  4. Excellent review, Pete!! It’s not hard to believe that Michael has it in him to write a great story. I always enjoy his characters and detailed imagination. Suspense is not easy. Hats off to Michael for writing a great first book!

  5. I spent months writing it, and you devoured it in less than a day! *sulks*

    Anyway. Glad you liked it, and thanks for the review!

  6. I feel like a celebrity reading this. It’s like I know Roger Ebert and Bruce Wilis! Pete of course being Roger Ebert because he’s the reviewer and Michael being Bruce Willis because he once took out 11 terrorists in a Los Angeles skyscraper sometime in the late 80s. To be exact he only killed 9 of them. Theo escape and Karl was shot by the Family Matters dad. Either way, this makes me feel cool. Even if Pete does plus his own book in the end haha

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