The Bunker Diary
London, Penguin, 2013, 259p
*Possible spoiler alert*
It is hard to write this blog without giving too much away - and I desperately do not want to give anything away, since I was given a little warning regarding how haunting and spine-chilling it is and I worry that too much information might detract from the tension of the story.
When Linus wakes up in an abandoned bunker, he is angry at himself for being tricked by a blind man who kidnapped him. He finds himself alone, but, with five empty rooms around him, suspects that this won't be for long. The only way in or out is a lift, which comes up and down at set times through the day. As time goes by, more people are sent down to join him, each from vastly different backgrounds, each having been tricked in strange and well-planned ways.
And they are being watched; there is no way out. Together, the captives work out how to communicate with their captor, but every attempt at escape seems wrought with punishment. They struggle to be civil with one another, especially in the context of this unusual situation. As the characters sink into desperation and depression, the reader is trapped with Linus in this underground dungeon.
I have not read any Kevin Brooks before, though I have always been intrigued by the packaging of his novels. In fitting with the dark trend running through this year's Carnegie list, The Bunker Diary is a strong contender, full of mystery, tragedy and a slither of hope.
To see the rest of my Carnegie reviews, click here.