A huge thank you to Oli Jacobs for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
In the gated community of Anton Court, everything is normal enough. The five families living there get on, and the assigned caretaker makes sure that nothing is out of sorts. All is well and everyone is happy.
Until the hole appears.
Perfectly round and 6-feet wide, the hole inspires many feelings in the residents. Wealthy app developer Rich Davis wants to investigate it. Elderly army veteran James Stanley (known as The Colonel) wants it removed. While widowed single mother Hannah Suggs is just unnerved by the hole.
Soon enough, obsessions take over and the peace of Anton Court is horribly corrupted.
From the dark mind of Oli Jacobs, author of The Station 17 Chronicles, The Children of Little Thwopping, and Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award 2021 finalist Wilthaven, Deep Down There is a story of obsession, secrets, and the fragile nature of fate and reality. As always, he hopes you enjoy.
I read and reviewed Wilthaven by Oli Jacobs as part of the BBNYA 2021 competition and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t get enough of the mixed media and witty writing style so I couldn’t wait to see what Oli could produce when writing in a different way.
I have no idea where to start with my review of Deep Down There so I’m going to start with a hole that randomly appears one day in Anton Court, an exclusive development. A hole that wasn’t there one day and was the next. A hole that seems resistant to any attempts to cover it or get rid. A hole that causes everyday suburban life to come crashing down around the lives of Anton Court residents. A hole that brings up secrets and nightmares. A hole that takes centre stage.
For me as a reader I found two main things going on in Deep down There. The plot itself – the hole and what it could be/exploration etc. Also the study of the characters and how they react in the face of adversity.
I’ve said it before but things that go bump in the night do not scare me. I love horror films, they make me jump but I am rarely scared by things I can see on camera. However, 2 things do freak me apart (apart from snakes) and they are;
1. Things that are unknown/cannot be seen.
2. Things that could really happen (Hostel falls into this category)
Deep Down There definitely falls into the first category and that’s what made the plot so tense and terrifying for me. I couldn’t explain what it was that scared me or why I felt uneasy but I did. The characters got under my skin and I couldn’t shake them off for days. I’d lay awake thinking about them and trying to figure out what was happening, but the worst (or best from a writer/reader’s perspective) was the feeling of dread that I felt for everyone through most of the book.
The hole is the main character and completely steals the show without doing very much at all. It’s malevolent and plays tricks on people and is certainly rebelling against any attempts to cover or fill it. I loved how things were revealed at a pace to keep my interest but slow enough to make the anticipation and intensity level high.
The residents of Anton Court are fascinating to read about. They all deal with things differently and Jacobs has written a social study – almost like a Big brother series – in how different personalities and people react to unknown and terrifying situations. They all had flaws and none of them were totally likeable (apart from Heather) but then is that not a true reflection of humans? I’m pretty sure in a real-life situation like this we’d see our friends and families in a different light after a few days. Hysteria, insomnia and a high level of anxiety will do that to a person and Jacobs captures this perfectly.
I realise this review has been very waffly. It’s a compliment to an author when I cannot find the right ways to express how a book made me feel. (It also shows why I am not an author.)
The biggest thing I can say about this book is read it! It’s clever, mind-blowing and intense and I loved every terrifying minute of it.
Author Bio – Oli Jacobs
Oli Jacobs is a bearded chap who enjoys spinning a yarn or two. While now a hermit, he has been rumoured to be seen drinking beer and enjoying chicken in the wilds of Southampton. If seen, please approach gently as he has severe anxiety and may cry.
As well as Wilthaven, Oli has also wrote other Horror (The Children of Little Thwopping, The Station 17 Chronicles), Comedy (the Kirk Sandblaster series), Thriller (the Mr Blank series), and short stories (the Filmic Cuts series).
As always, he hopes you enjoy.