Thursday, 25 May 2017

Underneath by Anne Goodwin

Underneath by Anne Goodwin
Published in the UK by Inspired Quill today, the 25th May 2017.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from /
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He never intended to be a jailer … After years of travelling, responsible to no-one but himself, Steve has resolved to settle down. He gets a job, buys a house and persuades Liesel to move in with him. Life’s perfect, until Liesel delivers her ultimatum: if he won’t agree to start a family, she’ll have to leave. He can’t bear to lose her, but how can he face the prospect of fatherhood when he has no idea what being a father means? If he could somehow make her stay, he wouldn’t have to choose … and it would be a shame not to make use of the cellar. Will this be the solution to his problems, or the catalyst for his own unravelling?

I enjoyed Anne Goodwin's first novel, Sugar And Snails (my review here) so was delighted to given the opportunity to read Underneath, her second, and am especially honoured to be kicking off this blog tour to publicise its launch. You can see all the other stops on the tour at the end of this post. Plus, if you find yourself in Nottingham on the 10th of June, the Underneath Launch Party is being held at Nottingham Writers' Studio.

Underneath is a psychological thriller that goes to some pretty dark places and I loved the sense of foreboding that builds up. We know from the very beginning that Steve will end up using his cellar as a kind of jail and the journey leading him to do so kept me enthralled. I liked the depiction of his burgeoning relationship with Liesel who is a great character and, even though the story is told from Steve's perspective, I felt I ended up knowing her even better than him. The flashbacks to Steve childhood add depth and helped me to understand his later actions. Goodwin does a good job of presenting a child's understanding the world as he sees it and of his interpretation of traumatic events. These vintage scenes particularly appealed to my imagination. I also enjoyed the family dynamic, dysfunctional as it was, but with, I think, universally recognisable sibling rivalries and allegiances.

Underneath is a slow burn so might not appeal to readers who prefer an action thriller, but I really liked the detailed and thoughtful approach. Goodwin takes her time in revealing Steve's truth and, for me, this worked well.

Like Steve, Anne Goodwin used to like to travel, but now she prefers to stay at home and do her travelling in her head. Like Liesel, she’s worked in mental health services, where her focus, as a clinical psychologist, was on helping people tell their neglected stories to themselves. Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to match her shoe size. Underneath is her second novel; her first, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. Anne lives in the East Midlands and is a member of Nottingham Writers’ Studio.

Catch up on her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Anne Goodwin / Thrillers / Books from England


  1. Thank you, Stephanie, for a lovely publication day review :-)

    1. You're very welcome! Fingers crossed for lots of sales :-)

  2. Oh boy. This sounds perfect for me! Just twisted enough.