Monday, January 13, 2014

Tunnelling to the Truth

The World Beneath (A Joe Tesla Novel) by Rebecca Cantrell (Self-published e-book, 5 December 2013).

Reviewed by Marlyn Beebe.

On his way to ring the bell on Wall Street the day his software company goes public, Joe Tesla is overcome by an attack of agoraphobia so strong that he is unable to leave his hotel at Grand Central Terminal.  He ends up living in a house built in the midst of the tunnels by the lead engineer on the construction of the original Grand Central Terminal, which is now owned by Tesla's college roommate Leandro Gallo and his twin sister Celeste.

Joe manages to keep himself occupied.  He has an office set up so that he can work in his underground home if necessary, and he's become incredibly well-read.  At night, when the trains aren't running, he and his psychiatric service dog Edison walk around the tunnels using night-vision goggles.  (Yes, Edison has his own goggles.)

On their travels, they occasionally run into homeless people or maintenance workers, but few people go as deep into the tunnels as Joe and his dog.  One night, he and Edison come across a strange set of footprints, which become more troubling as they appear more often.  He eventually follows them to find a man pounding on a brick wall with a sledgehammer.

What they discover behind the wall sounds completely implausible, but is based on historical events.

Rebecca Cantrell has created a gripping, thrilling story that is at once historical and contemporary.  Historical mystery and political thriller fans (and probably cozy readers, too) will be hooked after the first page.  This was an unputdownable book for me, and (from comments I've read) for many others, too.

Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery/thriller novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry and RT Reviewers Choice awards; her critically-acclaimed cell phone novel, iDrakula was nominated for the APPY award and listed on Booklist’s Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth. She and her family recently left Hawaii’s sunny shores for adventures in Berlin. Find Rebecca Cantrell on Facebook, Twitter, and at

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the author for the advance copy of the e-book.


  1. This sounds like a captivating story, and I love that Rebecca Cantrell is a self-published author writing a book people are reviewing and paying attention to.

    Thanks, Marlyn!

    1. I met Rebecca at my very first LCC in Hawai'i in 2009. As well as being an amazing writer, she's a wonderful person.

  2. Wow! Sounds fascinating! I'm putting this book on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing, Marlyn!

  3. P.S. Just bought it on Amazon - only $3.66!


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