9781927403020Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

All major cities know about rats. Most major cities have miles of underground tunnels that have many secrets hidden down below. But a race of intelligent scientifically mutated rats designed to carry biological weapons are only found under London.

The opening scene of London Underground starts during the reign of King Henry VIII when London is in a panic over a reappearance of the English Sweat. King Henry brings Anne Boleyn into his confidence about the location of a vast treasure he has hidden to protect England’s finances.

In 1944, Gunnar Hansen is called into Churchill’s war rooms to be given a special assignment. It has been discovered that the Nazis have a secret government lab in northern Norway working on a new weapon to help beat the British. Intelligence suggests they are trying to make a biological agent to be delivered by a V2 rocket. Gunnar and his team are to infiltrate the lab, destroy what they can and try to gather any information to help London should the Nazis be successful.

Inspector Sherwood Peets is called to a crime scene in an unusual place. Bones have been found in an old abandoned tunnel and he starts investigating. What he learns may be a an old crime from the time of WWII.

Carmen Kingsley who works for the British Museum is in charge of a new Roman site found in the middle of London. During the dig, a section of lost tunnels is found, including some of the old cistern system dating back to the time of King Henry.

There are many secrets under the streets of London and there are some people who want them to stay there. Unfortunately, some of the secrets are tired of the dark and want to visit the light. This could change the face of London forever.

I enjoyed London Underground quite a bit. Peets and Kingsley meet during the course of their investigations and the story of Gunnar and his team on their mission is interspersed through the book. I thought it was an excellent mix. Chris Angus also introduced me to a new freaky ‘monster’ and did a great job of keeping tension and a feeling of unease through the book without it becoming unpleasant.

The author was/is a reporter and you can see that in the book. He’s obviously done some research on both London and its rat population. He used many facts about rats that really weren’t necessary for the story but I found to be interesting nonetheless. The book would fit into the realm of James Patterson or Dan Brown as far as the type of story but I feel it was much better written than Brown’s books.

I would say that London Underground could have used one more going over to edit the characters. They seemed a little stilted, especially in the beginning, but they got better as the book went on. I think part of the problem was adding in exposition for a couple of the characters in an attempt to help the reader understand in a ‘telling’ way, not a ‘showing’ one. All in all I wouldn’t discount this book because of it but it was just an area I felt could have been improved on. Worth the read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

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