Published by Orion
Available in ebook and paperback (13 June 2019)
Source : Copy for review provided via Netgalley
ABOUT THE BOOK
Six people went in. Only one came out…
Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.
Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.
The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.
Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.
Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?
And how will he solve the insolvable case?
My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to take part in the tour and to Orion for providing a copy of the book to review via Netgalley.
One of the first things I did when I started reading this book was to Google ‘Standedge Tunnel’ located in Huddersfield. Oh my goodness, just looking at the images of the inside of the tunnel was scary enough. I did look at one You Tube video of a time lapse journey of the full 2+ hours and there is no way you would get me in that tunnel even for a few minutes.
Author Robin Ferringham’s wife Sam has been missing for 3 years. He has had a book published about Sam and dealing with his loss, and it is at a book signing that he first has contact from Matthew McConnell, in prison awaiting trial accused of killing 5 of his friends during a canal boat journey in the tunnel. Matthew says he has information about Sam if Robin will help him. Against his better judgement and because he is desperate for any information, Robin feels compelled to help him prove his innocence and travels to Standedge.
This is one of those mysteries where the impossible appears to have happened, the police are convinced that Matthew killed and somehow disposed of his friends because despite extensive searches there can be no other answer. They have never been found. If the authorities can’t find any other solution how on earth can an inexperienced man like Robin be expected to fare any better?
Robin’s determination to find out what really happened drives him on, despite the local community making it quite clear that he is not welcome, in particular the local Chief of Police, who happens to be the father of two of the missing victims. Some of the locals are quite intimidatory and very unwelcoming however he does have some help although not everyone is as they appear to be and I was never quite sure who was trustworthy as they all seemed to have their own agenda. Robin is a likeable main character and I was so hoping that he would find the answers he was seeking.
This book had me from the beginning and I didn’t want to put it down. The story moves along at quite a pace and as it progresses, you form a clearer picture of what the characters involved are really like. You do get the full story from all sides and it’s not always a pretty one.
That closed community feeling comes across very well, almost like a ‘Wicker Man’ vibe and I had absolutely no idea which way the story was going. There are times, especially towards the end when you have to suspend belief just a little but the story is an intriguing one with well-crafted characters around a suspenseful mystery filled with secrets and lies. I enjoyed it very much.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris lives in Durham and is a recent graduate of the Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) MA at City University. He loves film and acting in an amateur theatre group and can be found on Twitter at @crmcgeorge.