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  • Rhonda Allen

From Below by Darcy Coates

(B) This book could have been much better if half of it had been cut out. Good premise and unrelenting claustrophobic horror. The SS Arcadia vanished in 1928. 60 years later its wreck is found in the Gulf of Bothnia off the coast of Sweden, 300 miles from where it should have been, resting on the sea floor at a depth of around 300 feet A team of documentarians, experienced divers and ROV equipment is gathered to dive and record the wreck to try to understand what had caused the sinking. The books alternates between the present and 1928, which in this case is handled well as we see the growing dread and horror in 1928 and the excitement the dive team has at the thought of being the first people the see the Arcadia in over 60 years and maybe solve the mystery of what happened. The author is good at building tension and mounting dread in the past and the present. The parts that are set in 1928 is better as the pace moves along and keeps you turning pages. The parts (the lion's share of the book) in the present start out very good at building tension though some side stories seem unnecessary. After that it becomes very repetitive and over detailed and seems to take forever to get to a part that seems new and interesting. Also, some of the characters just make nonsensical decisions and take risks that are so out of character that it just takes you out of the story entirely.

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