Read Underneath by Michael Cargill Online


Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell?How well do you actually know the people closest to you?Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?...

Title : Underneath
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781490451534
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 188 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Underneath Reviews

  • Midu Hadi
    2019-02-19 14:14

    The author kindly gifted me a copy of his book. Get your copy here.*This is a review of an older version of the book.*What I liked about it:Hugh's character felt so real...he constantly lost his temper over the most insignificant things and his mind blocked the memory of what he did in those fits of rage. He was also paranoid and a misogynist. Robert-an underachiever, even though he's the "right" gender- and Claire-a cop trying to carve a niche for herself, who isn't. They made a good team.In many instances, Robert shows feelings similar to Hugh's minus the murderous rage-I loved the contrast.The reactions of both cops while trying to subdue Hugh came across as realistic. The story was fast paced, especially the last couple of scenes.What I didn't like:Jane's character seemed to be a replica of Hugh's. I don't know if that was intentional but I didn't like it. Her anger seemed quite overblown & out of place.Also reviewed at:PBD BlogSmashwordsAmazonShelfari

  • Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)
    2019-02-23 20:16

    This review was originally published on Blogs of a Bookaholic.Gripping, hilarious, disturbing. The story of a psychologically unstable individual.The story Underneath follows a disturbed man named Hugh with a love for squirrels and garlic flavouring. He is antisocial, violent and a complete and utter sociopath with no regard for those around him. In the past he has made attempts to take part in society with regular office jobs and participating in clubs, but it is never long before the cracks in his mask begin to show and those around him see the terrifying truth of what lies underneath. So when he sets his eyes on a beautiful girl on the train, who knows what disaster could ensue?Meanwhile two police officers Robert and Clare spend their days patrolling and sorting out petty crime, it is only a matter of time before their paths cross with Hugh. The question is, who will come out on top?I was totally hooked by Underneath from the very first page! Cargill managed to balance the line between sinister, entertaining and humorous very well. The first scene features Hugh walking around a park and his thought processes were so bizarre and frank that I was thrown, and from that moment on I had to keep reading. I was drawn in once again by the strong narrative voice which was a mixture of cynicism, humour and insight. It could be argued that Underneath dips slightly into satire at points with its comments on society and the way it pokes fun at its characters.There may not be any super fancy sentence structures or massive words but for this sort of novella it's not needed. The writing pace is snappy and there were some brilliant descriptions, especially the ones of food (seriously, THEY MADE ME HUNGRYYYYY). I did feel that some sentences were awkwardly phrased and could have been improved. A few sections became repetitive at times, for instance there was one big paragraph where every sentence began with the word ‘he’ which could have been enhanced by using some different synonyms, restructuring the sentences so they varied a little more or just leaving some ‘he’s’ out, but these kinds of issues were in the minority as most of the prose flowed smoothly! Although it may seem like I took a while to finish Underneath, this was simply because of the format (I don’t have a Kindle so I use my PC) but when I did get the opportunity to read it I didn’t want to stop because I was so immersed in the story, I finished it in three sessions.The plot was great; there may not be any immediate action at the start of the story but there is definitely enough to reel you in, small incidents occur that make the reader curious about the mysterious main character Hugh and I loved how the further you got through the novella the more subtly serious the incidents got until they had escalated to dangerous proportions. Switching between Hugh and the two police officers perspectives was a clever idea and broke up the story well preventing the narrative from becoming repetitive. I thought it was a fun idea the way the author wrote the story so that the two groups just kept missing each other, sometimes by a matter of minutes without either party having a clue. I love it when storylines collide like that! For some readers the plot could be considered flimsy as it isn’t that complex, but I feel it works and the real reason to read this book lies with the fascinating characters, so I didn’t find this to be an issue.I also loved how realistic the plot felt, I can imagine two police officers searching for a psychologically challenged individual out there right now and I think the little tidbits of social commentary on the UK police force really added to this. The comments on sexism and the misconception of race being linked to higher and lower crime rates were thoughtful without going overboard.Hugh’s character is by far the most compelling aspect of this story. It would have been easy to just do a big info dump at the beginning explaining all his weird traits but Cargill is smart enough to make the reader work for it, slowly adding multiple layers. For instance, I loved his weird habit of picking up useless objects like some plastic straws, then half an hour later realising how useless they were, chucking them over his shoulder and carrying on, it was a great way of portraying how quickly his mood could change. We are never told exactly what is wrong with Hugh, he’s definitely a sociopath but there are some other factors like post-traumatic stress in there too and I liked the fact that we were never told his exact issue, it leaves the interpretation up to the reader and makes him more of an enigma.The two police officers Clare and Robert were great; Robert’s supposed inability to go without food or tea for longer than an hour was hilarious and took the police doughnut stereotype to a whole new level, and I loved that Clare one of the only females in the story was the best in her police fitness training class and often shown to be in more control than some of the male officers (you go gurrrrrrl). The banter between the two of them was a lot of fun. Even some of the minor characters were hilarious.The only critique I really have is that all of the characters had the exact same sense of humour, the mother of a druggy teen, the police officers and the sociopath while feeling like separate characters laughed and spouted the same cynical and crude type jokes as all the others, and this made them feel a little less well rounded.I would recommend this book to anyone 16+ who likes crude humour (although I’m not a big fan usually but I still really like Cargill’s work), trying to work out the logic of bizarre and disturbed characters and those who enjoy thrillers. This is a great story to pick up for a quick, enjoyable read. :)*Please note: This was originally reviewed on Blogs of a Bookaholic and was offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review.*

  • ErinBlack
    2019-02-16 13:57

    Review now up on Bookluvrs Haven!**GIVEAWAY ALERT**Come sign up for your chance to win one of TEN e-copies of Michael Cargill's new novel 'Underneath' miss out on this one!!

  • Lucinda
    2019-02-18 22:16

    Another breathtaking story by an incredible author who has once again exceeded all expectations, by producing something that is truly remarkable and memorable. Grabbing my attention instantly I was drawn into the most original storyline, which like his previous work ‘Shades of Grey’ combines intense action and drama with distinctive characters. Candid, strait to the point the author combines an openness in his style of writing that is honest when revealing to all the harsh realities of life and the world that we live in. The narration is split into two parts where you observe the main character of Hugh alongside two police officers, until ultimately the connecting segments join together in the most dramatic climax of an astonishing ending. I found the character of Hugh extremely fascinating and intriguing, as his dual personality was one that mesmerized and made me want to read on to find out more. This individual was a complex being whose emotions seemed to rule his life, his actions and reactions in situations shaping and defining the entire storyline. One minute he was the amiable, unremarkable guy and the next he was a being full of rage, anger and hidden emotion that stemmed from an incident in his past. Grief can last a lifetime, it can resurface and change our personalities as it clouds ones mind with intense feeling and confusion. Love, lust and anger were expressed within this unique character that had lost direction within his life and purpose thus living out his days with instinctive, natural course whilst slowly increasing memory loss clouded his thoughts. As episodes of rage became more regular the results of his actions became more serious, until the truth of what lay inside Hugh was exposed and the façade uncovered. The cast of characters from the ambitious police officer Claire to her colleague Robert, to the victim’s mother Jane Meadows and Abigail the young girl whose judgment was sorely wrong regarding the man whose disguise was so well crafted. This tale reminded me of a quote from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre where one is asked ‘…someone so unspectacular and inconspicuous from the outside could hide a beast within’. It can be so easy to trust, to assume and to judge on outer appearances without knowing what is inside someone’s very soul where a black heart could be found. Gripping, fast-paced action and intense drama made this story utterly brilliant that was spine chilling as it left me with hundreds of questions in my mind. Loosing myself within the characters stories and trying to put together all the pieces of the puzzle, I was left in suspense as I continued to read wanting to know more about these remarkable individuals and how it would end. There is an sincerity to the thought-provoking poignancy within this tale as you grasp the true meaning and messages that are hidden, but also a frankness when discussing certain aspects within life that one can relate to in part. The colloquial language although not slang was conversational making one feel as if the reader was speaking to you directly, as if you the reader are a witness to this epic saga. Michael Cargill is an accomplished author who has once again produced something highly readable and distinctive. His work is poignant, touching and emotive in places but also truth-drawing in which you are able to understand, connecting to the narrative in the modern day. Underneath is a book that you could compare to many works in which you have to look beneath the surface and the obvious to see what lies beneath, making this not only a great story but also one that delves deeper. Highly readable that evokes the twenty-first century many readers will find themselves being touched by something that is original, where captivating twists and turns will leave you wanting to read more. Similarly to the main character this book probes ones own curiosity as you travel on the most exciting rollercoaster of a ride that delights as much as it astonishes.

  • Sarah - Six Blue Marbles
    2019-01-27 21:06

    (This book was sent to me by the author and does not bias my review in any way)I’ve been excited to read Underneath since I discovered it’s existence in a Goodreads giveaway. When I found out I’d won, I quickly went on Goodreads to see what the book was about. The back of the book however gave little detail as to what the story was about, though it hinted to something sinister, mysterious, and suspenseful. I enjoy reading about all these things so I was happy to have the book coming my way! Thankfully I was not disappointed, Underneath was so much more than I expected it to be!The cover’s lovely and really works for the story. A cloudy shadow behind a closed door. It makes the reader try to piece together what this image has to do with the story and urges the reader to open the book and find out for themselves!Underneath is funny, addicting, and most of all disturbing. I found myself reading this at work hoping I could finish the next chapter before a patron asked to take out a book (I came to no such luck).Underneath is told in third person following two (basically three) characters, the killer and the police. I found myself sickened and deeply disturbed when reading the narrations of Hugh, the killer, I think Cargill excelled in writing this character making the reader fear for what he may do next and eagerly awaiting when the police would finally step in! Cargill also wrote the officer’s, Clare and Robert, narration well, especially the fun they have when on a break or not on duty. It was nice to read about cops as workers instead of the intimidating forces of the law. Don’t get me wrong, these police still did force the law, but it was nice to see the two different sides, with co-workers and on-the-job.While Underneath is a fantastic novel I would have liked a bit more detail on the character’s lives. While the reader gets some background on Hugh’s childhood and some background on Clare and Robert in school together the reader is often left with questions. I would have liked some memories/flashbacks on Hugh in his teens, possibly exploring whether he was always a psychopath or whether he became one. I would have liked to see why Clare and Robert wanted to become police officers, what instances in their life made them pursue this career.Though it’s a short book it is well worth the read! Underneath keeps reader’s on their toes as they eagerly await for both dynamically different characters to finally meet!

  • Jo Michaels
    2019-02-12 14:04

    Underneath won a review on my December 12 Days of Christmas indie author contest. The author hooked me right in with his pitch and I promptly bought the book which I read in just a few days. I give you my review.From a reader's perspective:To be frank, Underneath's main character, Hugh, scared the bejesus out of me. But he was so compelling I just had to keep reading. His odd thought process oftentimes gave me chills and made me wonder how many people like Hugh I'd passed by in my lifetime and never noticed. One of the supporting characters, Clare, was also well done, and I found myself identifying with her quickly. She has gumption and drive; both are qualities I admire a lot. The pacing was great and I flew through the book without realizing how much I'd read. I got a few surprises when the same exact words showed up at different times, and it thrilled and delighted me. Something else I liked was the author being from the UK. I learned some new words!!From an editor's perspective:I'd like to see a little more refinement of sentence construction and punctuation usage. I can overlook it if there are just a few but this book had a number of them. Short, choppy sentences left me stumbling over the words on more than one occasion. Plotline was bang on. I got the feeling this book was intended to be third person omniscient but it came off as third person limited with head hopping because one chapter would be about Hugh and another about Clare with snippets of other peoples' thoughts or feelings. I really only needed to see the story from two perspectives: Hugh's and Clare's. Quips now and then about random peoples' thoughts or feelings left me dangling (not in a good way). I think more character development of Hugh and Clare could've come from making this one small change.Now, for my rating:1 star for a terrifying main character.1 star for rounding out the two characters I loved as much as was done.1 star for bringing me to the UK and teaching me; as well as the surprises.- 1 star for writing style (this is person by person so you may like it. I didn't).- 1 star for including too many characters' thoughts and for punctuation blips.3 out of 5 stars. Recommended reading if you like to be just a hair horrified at what could be going on in someone's mind.

  • Think
    2019-01-31 16:03

    Twisted. Demented. Bizarre. These are just a few words that pop into my head when trying to write a review for Underneath. Yes, that's right. My cup runneth over with adjectives to describe this novel. And yes, those words are a little scary. But there are also positive adjectives I could use. Mind-blowing. Thrilling. Brilliant. And if I could only pick 3 words to describe Underneath they would be: Timed to perfection.Ok, so let's talk characters in this novel. Of course, the star of the show is Hugh. Hugh has a bit of an anger management issue and tends to have a very short term memory. Throughout the novel, Hugh escalates more and more. Just when you think he can't go any farther he does. It makes this book a remarkable read. You think you know what's happening, then there it is. A reference to something you are pretty sure you remember being mentioned somewhere else. Perhaps the color of a car or the sound of someone laughing. That is my favorite thing about this novel. Cargill has weaved this story flawlessly. It is so interesting how small the world can be. And also how timing is everything. This book was pretty much the total opposite of what I am used to reading. However, I highly enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. It is a tad gritty for my taste but I enjoyed the writing of Cargill immensely.5 stars to Underneath for making me look at other people and myself a little differently.

  • Hock Tjoa
    2019-02-09 17:04

    This light read takes us firstly into the point of view of a mentally ill young man who is alternately clever and charming and then vicious and violent; this may or may not have been made worse by a family tragedy. In any case, he actually kills a teenager who had made the mistake of breaking into his apartment building; then he wraps the body all neatly in plastic and forgets completely about it as he goes about his dinner.Secondly, a companionable pair of police, a man and a woman, run into him eventually as he is on another of his rage-fueled Mr. Hyde mode. The two police personnel also present a mild quandary--they were both going to sit for the exams for promotion, except that one of them knows she is distinctly more capable than the other.Thirdly, the policewoman has something weighing on her mind--she is married and worries whether she should give in to her biological clock or pursue her career.The drama is admirably restrained, the plot presents no major issues, and the writing is serviceable.

  • PepperP0t
    2019-02-17 19:56

    3.75stars actuallyThis short debut novel details people-watcher Hugh opens with his favorite past-time in the park and him concocting lives and scenarios for the people that he sees. But as the story goes on and you become more involved you begin to suspect that all is not right in Hugh-world. Hugh proves the adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The originality of the story is what got to me first, followed quickly by the flowing prose as we find that while Hugh may walk like everyone else; look like everyone else; dress like everyone else and talk like everyone else he belongs to an exclusive club. I enjoyed this effort by Mr. Cargill more than another short I’d read by him because this time out I wanted to know what the secret was and I felt engaged in the story. At the outset I was a tad bored with the overly descriptive passages but I either got used to them or they disappeared as I got more comfortable in the book. I would say this is a quick rainy afternoon thriller but a bit intense if you’re looking for a short in the cozy mystery genre.

  • Eyehavenofilter
    2019-02-12 20:55

    I am having a devil of a time getting this review done.I've tried 3 times and technology wasn't cooperating.... Pray for me! This is another awesome book from M. Cargill!What a great premise. An anger management failure, with what seems to be memory loss. He can't remember why he walks from one room to anther let alone what triggerd his rage 5 seconds ago. It took awhile to get into this but it is SO worth the read. As soon as we are introduced to the 2 " coppers" who investigate the grim leavings in his wake, Angela, the college student, who thinks she is in love, and Jane, the mom who is convinced that her missing son has been kidnapped, the richly woven threads of this frightening tapestry take a decidedly dastardly turn, and tie themselves into knots. I loved how this black comedy, since some of this is is written with flair and a wry sense if the absurd, continues on and becomes a terrifying tale of stalking, obsession, and murder; body dumping optional!

  • Pragya
    2019-02-02 20:55

    Alright, this is a very different kind of a book and the blurb sums it up so well.The book made me shudder and think. It's a bit creepy, thought-provoking and disturbing all at the same time.It sort of has a psychological angle to it which makes it interesting. It is neither a mystery nor a thriller but has that surprise element to it.What I didn't likeA couple of things and scenes just kept repeating, can do with a bit of editing. Though the background was solid, plot could have used more more action and story.In all, a very innovative and never-before-seen writing and plot that makes for an interesting and thought-provoking read.

  • Julie Rainey
    2019-02-02 18:03

    The lives of Hugh, Clare and Robert become entwined in a roller coaster ride of suspense. I liked how Hugh was portrayed as a normal everyday person until something, just the slightest glitch, set him off. The way he interacted with the world around him made me fearful to ever meet a man such as him in my life. I liked the relationship between Robert and Clare. They were so in sync with each other and were able to work together to figure out the mystery.A very good read. I found it hard to put down.

  • Alexandra Harris
    2019-02-18 15:24

    I just finished, it was good. Kinda weird but good, great job Michael!!

  • Sydney Culver
    2019-02-04 14:04

    See my review on Thanks, Michael, I enjoyed it!

  • Melissa ownsbey
    2019-02-22 20:24

    well told well writtenand differnthugh has a prombem with anger for surei did enjoy this bookthanks for letting me review

  • Emily V
    2019-02-13 18:07

    Review posted at: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic...Cover Rating: 3/5 StarsOverall Rating: 4/5 StarsSynopsis: Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn't matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger. Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell? How well do you actually know the people closest to you? Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?A copy of Underneath was kindly given to me by the author, Michael Cargill, in exchange for an honest review. Underneath was a short book but the story suited that. It is about seeing the side of a person that they keep hidden, we all do it but hopefully not as much as the main character Hugh. He can appear nice and pleasant but underneath he's a raving madman - to put it nicely. The whole story revolves around a number of characters whose stories all interrelate at some point. It was really interesting to see just how they would connect and why.The characters were all really different and very developed. Hugh, as I said before, was crazy. He was a disturbing fellow who I would have hoped to never meet. He was like one of those psychopaths you hear about that can hide their disturbed characters so well that when they finally crack and do something horrible everyone claims they were a really nice person - they are the scary ones. There were two other main characters, Clare and Robert. These two were a lot more likable! Clare was a strong independent women who didn't need a man to lean on and Robert was just hilarious though you saw throughout the book just how strong his morels were and how he reacted when someone was going against them. I also loved Clare and Robert's relationship, they were so alike yet so different.Overall I really enjoyed this book and my only negative is that I want another book - and that's not even a negative. I would love to see how Clare, Robert and even Hugh got on after this book ended. I've only read one of Michael's books before and it was so completely different to this one that I can't even attempt to compare them. All I can say is that I really like his writing style and I will be looking for future releases from him. I would recommend this to people who like suspenseful, layered novels.My Favorite Quote: “Earth to Robert, earth to Robert, are you there?”“Sorry, I was just thinking of steak and kidney pie,” he said with a grin.“No, seriously, I was. Why would anyone want kidney in a pie? Why not double steakinstead? It would be much better.”“It’s not really something I've thought about to be honest.”“I used to get force-fed it as a kid. I dreaded going round my Nan’s house, as it was allshe ever seemed to bloody cook. In fact I think she even brought one round to our house atChristmas one year,” he replied, scrunching his nose up."

  • Sherry Fundin
    2019-02-07 20:05

    Not only don't you know what people are thinking or feeling, they don't know what's going through your mind. I have thought before, as I was looking in someone's eyes not really listening to what they are saying, I wonder what they would think if they could read my mind right now.As he wandered the city, one minute happy, the next so pissed off he wanted to kick someone's ass, he came upon a car with an expensive coat in it. When he broke the window to steal the coat, he saw it was a cheap knockoff. He was so pissed, he beat the hell out of the car. Was he insane? Some kind of anger issue?When he began seeing Abigail, his thoughts and emotions were confusing, he was puzzled about what it all meant. It had just been the past few years where he admitted that he faked his thoughts and feelings to manipulate others, he had always been that way. He felt like the cyborg in Terminator 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fake being human. He could relate to the cyborg when John Connor tries to teach it to smile. It was different with Abigail. He knew he'd have to "fix it" but didn't know what he meant by that.When he talks about Burnside firing the taser, it made me laugh. Wouldn't you just love to do that to some people?At first I thought the rating on this book would be a two. But as I got 3/4 of the way through, it got me thinking more. I've had those times when for no reason at all I got ticked off over something minor and wanted to throw something of hit someone. Have you? If it wasn't for civility, I'm not sure how much we would let loose, let the anger flow out to reach whoever or whatever was handy at the time. When he talks about people's behavior online, it's obvious that the sense of anonymity people feel will cause them to act in a way they wouldn't do if face to face. Who knows how far we would go if given free rein.The last 1/4 really started to lure me in and the last 10% had me racing through the words, not able to read fast enough to find what would happen next. I was desperate for Abigail to run - run for her life. My breath quickened. I almost felt her terror.When he wrote "should men have their cocks surgically removed at birth, and only given back when they were old enough to use them around the age of eight five or so" I laughed out loud.The excerpts from his website, at the end of the book, had me cracking up. Caught me totally by surprise, but don't be looking before you arrive at the end of the story.With all that being said, the book was definitely worth the read. If you find it slow in the beginning, like I did, just hang in there because it does get better and has a good ending. Underneath Michael Cargill

  • Martin
    2019-02-06 14:21

    I was given this book for free by the author with the promise that I would review it when done, so here goes;This book was amazing. One of the more interesting books I have ever read.The author has explored a insane mind in such a way that you sort of end up connecting with it; after all who hasn't got annoyed with self service checkouts, or people getting in your way or the million other things that seems to annoy our main character, Hugh.This idea of everyone is explored nicely throughout the story by the way of the police officer, Robert. You see him thinking the same things as Hugh, noticing the same things, getting annoyed at the same things (etc..) and all that differs is the way he handles it.I'm not sure if this is what the author was going for but I came out of the story with the general idea that we ALL have some form of Hugh's insanity in us we have just learnt to keep it to our self.The story itself is fast paced and excellently written. I started in the morning and didn't put it down until I was done. You really get sucked in to the world of the characters, especially Hugh and the unique view on the world. You just have to know what will happen next.The book becomes a game of cat and mouse, which works to create tension that keeps you turning the pages, as the police close in on Hugh. Will they catch him before he kills again?Reminded me slightly of the movie 'Falling down' in the sense that you are essentially seeing what should be everyday situations being twisted with insanity. Falling down: Ordering a burger, flipping out because the burger doesn't look like the picture. Underneath: Self service machine throws up an error message (we've all been there,) smashing it up and throwing your shopping across the shop. Etc. I found the trip to the college interesting (seriously though the whole book was interesting) as just seeing the paranoia building up and seeing unrelated events and 'clues' throw Hugh into this raged panic. How simple it seems to let things get to you and, borrowing the phrase, make a mountain out of a mole hill.The one thing I disliked about the book: It was too short, more of a novella. I would have loved for a full scale Novel through the mind of Hugh. Just him going about his day to day life.I look forward to more from this author and I thank him for the chance to read this book, one which I admittedly would have never heard of otherwise.I shall be recommending it friends and, unlike Hugh, I won't forget about it the minute I turn away.

  • Jill Swanson-Diaz
    2019-02-04 21:21

    Look for my full review and an interview with the author,as Adult Fiction Review Week continues on my blog! http://littlehyuts.blogspot.comUnderneath is one of the more unique and compelling books of it's kind that I have read. Michael Cargill is definitely an author to look out for. His writing style really captivates the reader and immerses them in the characters and story line. Cargill masterfully builds the tension through out the entire story, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Hugh is quite an intricate and strange fellow to say the least. I really enjoyed his character and the satirical humor that goes along with it. Especially his incident with self service checkout-which I myself find obnoxious-and his use of the term 'slug'. Cargill has really created a character that will entertain and intrigue. Hugh's tendencies progress at an alarming rate and I was not at all surprised to learn he is plagued by blackouts. The author really knows how to get into the head of his characters, which is something I really loved about this book. The author really nails the portrayal of a sociopath and allows us a glimpse into their life. This book points out to reader's that we may not know someone as well as we think we do. It is very possible they have a dark side we have yet to meet. The story takes place from two different points of view. That of Hugh as he wreaks havoc and that of the cops that are called in to handle the disturbances. I enjoyed the cop's characters as well. Robert's passion for bacon sandwiches and his continuous banter with his partner really add to the story. The reader also finds that the cops share similarities with Hugh. Perhaps, one human's 'underneath' is not so different from another. If you want a wild ride of a book and a story that will keep you wanting more, I highly recommend reading this book and other's by Michael Cargill!

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-17 14:02

    Underneath is a thriller meaning we know who the killer is and the tension comes from it being a race between the cops and the killer before he kills again. Cargill keeps the tension up masterfully from the first page up until the end.A major city in modern Britain is a compelling setting. Matter of fact, it made me remember my trip to the United Kingdom when he was describing the parks, the ticket machines, etc. I could visualize everything. Also by not naming the city, he gives the "this could happen anywhere" vibe to the story.Hugh starts in a park describing the people around him while at first glance he is an "every man who likes squirrels" himself, he quickly gets bored and angry. He leaves the park and gets on a train becoming more and more irritated by most things and people he sees--except a young woman named Abigail. Once off the train, he breaks open a car window, steals a coat and then gets infuriated because "it is a cheap copy...." Then he trashes the car. Wow!The two police officers, Clare and Robert, feel realistic. They have their own issues. Robert eats constantly and Clares has aspirations of promotion, as they cross paths with Hugh's rising violent acts. They investigate the car whose owner promptly begins blaming Polish illegal immigrants. Robert and Clare's reactions are perfect. And remain perfect as they move through the story faced with the violence and prejudice of their lives as police officers.The only negative thing I have to say at all is the plotting felt off. It ended rather abruptly just as the action was about to start. However the tension was high throughout the entire story and it was a decent ending. It simply felt rushed which is why it is getting four stars rather than five.However a very enjoyable read and a great character study!

  • Melanie Cusick-Jones
    2019-02-23 15:09

    Sounds creepy? Well, it should because the main character we follow throughout the book – Hugh – is a scary chap!Underneath is a relatively short book – more a novella I’d say at circa 50k words – and flits between two worlds: Hugh-land and Copsville. Hugh’s world is an interesting one, as you see a lot of his life from his own confused and skewed perspective: one minute he’s happily shopping and buying garlic, the next he’s freaking out at the automated till and then forgotten where he is or why he’s there. His psycholigical switches and memory lapses quickly show the reader that Hugh is not firing on all cylinders, but as the story progresses, very scarily he also seems to be somewhat aware of his own flaws and a-human responses (particularly in his relationship with a certain young lady).Early in the book I started to get an American Psycho feel, with a nice British twist – and it certainly gave you this as things developed. One of my favourite things about Michael’s writing is his ability to ‘be real’ – he gets right into the heads of his characters, making their responses and thoughts very realistic – from the mundane to the outright terrifying, he seems to be able to ‘get people’ when he writes about them.Overall thoughts: I really like Michael’s writing style; it’s clear, concise, often funny and I enjoy the realisim of his characters. As an extended piece – I’ve previously read his short stories – it works well and follows similar themes and ideas to his previous work. I enjoyed Underneath and it works as a thriller, but have to say I think I prefer something with a slightly more supernatural twist, like Borger the Bunny when Michael’s writing. Full review at:

  • Beza
    2019-01-25 21:09

    This book is more like a novella than a novel, only having 16 chapters.You have three main characters: Hugo, and two "coppers" Robert and Clare all told in third person. Hugo do I explain Hugo? Crazy, deranged, psycho?I'm sure there are a bunch of scientific disorders for Hugo, but let's just leave it at this: you won't get bored reading about him. It's very interesting to go through Hugo's world: one minute he is happy go-lucky and in a split second he is in a murderous rage, you really never know what he is going to do next. Now let's talk about the good guys in this story: Robert and Clare. Robert is your "clown" of the story, he has the funny lines as you can see from the quote above. Clare however, is the more serious of the two but don't think that Robert is not a good cop: both are dedicated and good at their jobs. I think their part in this story is very obvious so I won't really go in to it. This book was very fast-paced, a little too fast for my taste. By the time I finished the book I was wishing for more chapters. This is the biggest reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars, I really feel like if he made the story longer he could really flesh these characters and still keep the fast pace. Also I was sad that Hugo didn't creep me out! I meant he was weird but I didn't feel goosebumps and shiver when I read about him.Don't let these little things stop you though, it was a great read I totally recommend it!

  • Katy
    2019-01-27 16:21

    Full review at -[Warning - This book contains swearing. If you are uncomfortable with that, I would suggest not reading it. However, I would stress that I thought it fit well within the story and wasn't overbearing.]Underneath asks the question 'How well do you actually know the people closest to you?' in the most striking way. Hugh, the main character, appears perfectly normal on the outside, even charming at times. However, underneath, he is clearly a raving lunatic! It just goes to show that looks and first impressions can be deceiving. Written from two points of view, we hear from Hugh, who is losing his temper in various locations such as a supermarket, and Claire and Robert, two police officers who are cleaning up the mess.At times the story felt a bit repetitive, but I felt that this emphasised how all over the place Hugh's mind was, that he couldn't remember if he had done something so he did it again to be sure. A very clever effect! While it took a few chapters for any 'action' to be seen, it was in no way boring and still kept me engaged with the story. While there was a lot of tension, particularly regarding when Hugh's mood would change, and what he would do as he seemed quite unpredictable, there were also elements of humour. Highly recommended

  • A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
    2019-02-13 17:20

    *Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.From Goodreads:Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn't matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell?How well do you actually know the people closest to you?Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see...?This is a pretty strange story. Hugh, the main dude, is totally unlikeable. I mean, he’s really an asshole. Yikes. There is absolutely nothing to like about him. I’m serious. He is interesting though. Weird, I know.Robert and Clare are two police officers who are unintentionally following Hugh around. They’re answering disturbance calls about Hugh, but they don’t know who he is or even that these calls are all about the same guy. The parallel stories are what’s interesting about this tale. As much as I hate Hugh, I kept reading to see if Clare and Robert ever catch up to him. And I have to say the ending is…wow!

  • Erin
    2019-02-24 22:20

    I enjoyed this book. As a psychology major I often wonder what people are like underneath. Are first impressions always correct? Can you tell if someone is a psychopath just by looking at them??Hugh is an emotionally and psychologically damaged man. On the surface he may appear to be normal, but underneath he certainly is not. He suffers from rage episodes, and he also seems to forget things quite often. I don't think Hugh is evil, but definitely in need of a good psychologist. The story follows Hugh and police officers Robert and Clare. Their stories intersect as Hugh's rage episodes leave destruction in their wake. Hugh also meets a nice college student named Abigail who really only knows the Hugh on the surface. Though she gets bad feelings about him on their first date, she ignores those feelings.The story shows how we could interact with someone every day and not know they are absolutely insane because they are that good at hiding it and putting on a normal facade. To me it also shows the importance of going with our gut instincts about people. If someone seems off, even if they are normal on the surface, then they probably are.

  • Irene
    2019-02-04 20:22

    People need to read this book, it gives you great insight to the mind of a lunatic. To think there are people actually walking around like that. Hugh is disturbing on so many levels. From the first chapter you hear what kind of inappropriate and downright disturbing thoughts he has, and I found myself having to read more to see what he would do or say next. He has a love interest named Abigail, which really adds to the 'ick' vibe and level of suspense.Throughout the novel, we also follow the story of two officers Robert and Clare as they deal with a lot of 'Hugh' related incidents and crimes.The story-lines and characters all interconnect, whether they are simply passing each other on the street or happen to play the same video game online. One of my favorite aspects of the writing, was the level of sarcasm and wit. It was clever and had me chuckling several times. It made the story even more entertaining.All in all, I found it to be a page turner and worth the read!

  • Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
    2019-02-21 18:55

    Hugh seems like your average hardworking man that is polite, takes care of himself, and goes to the gym to workout. Hugh seems to blend into the crowd unnoticed which suits him just fine. Constables Clare and Robert are hardworking police officers that are working on seemingly unrelated cases at the grocery store,local college, and missing teenage boy. Abigal meets Hugh on the train and the two meet up for drinks. Abigal briefly sees something lurking behind Hugh's eyes then thinks she imagined it. Abigal and Hugh become close which pleases Hugh. Constables Clare and Robert get a surprising lead from missing teenage boy's friend that he and his friends hang out at an apartment building. The boy says that a creepy guy chases them off. Will Abigal figure out what Hugh is hiding? Will Constables Clare and Robert solve their cases? Where does Hugh fit into all of this? Do you know what is lurking Underneath?

  • Amy (BW)
    2019-02-08 22:17

    I'd give this book a solid 3.5!It was creepy for a psychological thriller, but it started out too slow for me. I felt like it didn't really pick up for me until the last 35% of the book. But I stuck it out.Hugh is an emotionally disturbed man. Throughout much of the book, he wanders through the streets and at times doesn't even remember why he is here he is, what he is doing or how he has the food he has in his fridge. WEIRD! He meets a girl on the train and likes her. Gives her his number and is surprised when she actually calls. His mood swings are off the charts. But this girl does something to him. She can even see the subtle changes in his moods.I think what Michael Cargill created for Hugh's character was great. I just think the overall start to the story was a little slow. Thank you for the opportunity, Michael!

  • Emma (Queen of the weirdo's)
    2019-02-13 15:12

    Another great read from this Author. Having read various short stories from Michael Cargill I was keen to read his new work. I found Underneath to be compelling reading and was eager to find out how it would all end. The tension builds up throughout the story to a great finish! I love how Michael can get in to the heads of his characters, even the sociopaths! I look forward to the next offering from Mr Cargill.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-24 22:18

    This is a short read that I would put in the "okay" category. For the 1st half I had to push myself to continue reading so I could accurately review it. Closer to the end it flowed a bit better but it was predictable and more at a reading level of a smart middle school student or perhaps a high schooler. The idea of the book is a good one though and I have seen many short novels that are written poorer.