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Under the Beetle's Cellar (Molly Cates #2)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  541 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Journalist Molly Cates, heroine of the Edgar Award-winning The Red Scream, returns, and finds herself at the heart of a bitter standoff when a fanatical madman she's profiled in the past kidnaps a busload of hostages--promising to hold them until the time arrives for his apocalyptic revenge. As time slips away, Cates must confront him while the lives of 12 people hang in t ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 311 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Doubleday (first published August 1st 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 891)
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Stella
May 14, 2011 Stella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I'm not entirely sure if this book deserves the five star rating I'm giving it, because I read it back when I was in high school, something like fourteen years ago, and I'm not sure if my high school self can be trusted to accurately remember how good the book was. HOWEVER, I've remembered how much I enjoyed this book for all these years, so it clearly made quite an impression on me. It's the story of a war vet turned school bus driver who is kidnapped with his entire busload full of kids by ...more
2ChenA
Oct 22, 2015 2ChenA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Under the Beetle's Cellar is an outstanding novel with a well written rising action. Each chapter seemed to grab my attention even more. The plot was very interesting, and the rising intensity of the conflict seemed to add even more action. The conflict is about a man who takes and school bus and it's riders captive underground. The man believes in the apocalypse and needs to cleanse these elementary school riders and the bus driver of their American sins. A reporter is trying to stop him with t ...more
megan ••book slayer••
Under the Beetle's Cellar = CAPTIVATING!

Oh, where to begin? This novel captured me from the first paragraph. The title, the plot, Walker's writing style; it all piqued my interest. Walker's descriptiveness made me feel as if I were actually there in the midst of it all, being held hostage in an underground bus beneath the Jezreelite compound. All five of my senses were excited throughout this book...

Sight--I pictured the beetles and worms crawling in the dirt around them.
Smell--I could smell the
...more
Sherri
Oct 29, 2013 Sherri rated it really liked it
The bus-driver, Walter Demming, turns out to be the hero of this story. He and 11 children are kidnapped and kept under ground for 50 days. Their kidnapper, Samuel Mordecai is the leader of a cult and believes that the children and Walter will be purified by staying under ground for 50 days. After 50 days, Mordecai plans to kill them for his church.

This is the basic background of the story and I'm not giving away any details by telling you this. Walter Demming wanted to be a nobody and on nobody
...more
Gail
Mar 10, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We come upon the story here after 11 children and a bus driver have been buried underground for over 40 days inside a school bus. A crazy cult leader has kidnapped them and believes that these children will be the purified lambs that usher in Armageddon on the 50th day. It is the story of the children's experience and the saga of what is going on above ground in the effort to negotiate their release or rescue them. Highly recommended.
Kristine
This was a good read. Nothing special or spectacular, but a good read. I liked the characters and their development. Parts of the story are a little dated, but that can happen when an author writes about current events. When I finished reading the book I discovered that this is actually number two in a series. I will probably check out book number one.
Bob
Jan 14, 2011 Bob rated it liked it
This one was a donation to the library and I decided to give it a try. A new author for me and a good read. A school bus of elementary students is hijacked by a religious cult and the driver and eleven students are taken to the cult’s compound and secured in an old school bus buried underground under a barn. Mary Cates, a crime reporter who had done an article on cults and the leader of this one gets involved in the rescue which was stymied. The cult’s leader Samuel Mordecai has a specific agend ...more
LJ
UNDER THE BEETLE'S CELLAR - Ex
Walker, Mary Willis - 2nd in Mollie Cates series

Eleven Texan schoolchildren and their bus driver are captured by a fundamentalist cult, taken to a fortified compound and buried underground, kept alive but only just. Negotiations lead nowhere. Enter Molly Cates, tenacious crime writer with the inside track on the cult leader. But time is running out... Claustrophobic terror alternates with frenzied investigations as the sect's deadline approaches. Post-Waco, post-Okl
...more
Tia Pirkl
May 30, 2016 Tia Pirkl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by Mary Willis Walker and I'm completely impressed. The character development was fantastic. The three main characters became completely real to me. I want more. I loved this book. It was perfect.
Michele
Feb 07, 2016 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at a used book sale and could not believe how good it was. Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a well written mystery/thriller. Started me reading all of this author's books and I have not been disappointed yet.
Reed Stratton
Jun 29, 2009 Reed Stratton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read "genre" books. In grad school I was indoctrinated to believe that real art covers from "literary masterpieces," but I'm sure glad I broke out of that mindset for this book as its the kind of book that makes the world around you melt away so you're completely sucked into it. For most of it, I actually felt like another character in the story world trying to solve the crime before it is too late. The strength here is definitely story.

The writing, however, is just okay. There
...more
Anna
Aug 13, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel a lot. People complain about the language, but I read it in translation and the translator must have been good because I didn't react to that at all. It's a well turned out story.
David
Feb 28, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it was more derivative than this, I preferred the first installment of the series to this one. Although characterization and the action scenes far outdid "The Red Scream"'s. A good book and I'll recommend it.
Þóra
Sep 13, 2014 Þóra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Algjörlega frábær bók. Las þessa bók 1997 og man hana nokkuð vel sem segir sitt. Ef einhverjum langar að lesa þá á ég eintak til að lána:)
Carol
Mar 22, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember this book very well, it was one of my favorites. It would make a wonderful movie.
She is a great writer.
Sarah
Apr 17, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't write anything yet, I have to thik about the book some days...
Jo
Feb 29, 2012 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic if you only ever read one book then this is it !!!!!!!!
Eleven Texan schoolchildren and their bus driver are captured by a fundamentalist cult, taken to a fortified compound and buried underground, kept alive but only just. Negotiations lead nowhere. Enter Molly Cates, tenacious crime writer with the inside track on the cult leader. But time is running out…
Claustrophobic terror alternates with frenzied investigations as the sect’s deadline approaches.
this book had me holding my breath
...more
Zora
Apr 29, 2014 Zora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodi Lu
Aug 20, 2007 Jodi Lu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
wow i forgot this existed then saw it on here. i bought this in an airport going on a family summer vacation when i was about 15 and only had 8 seconds to find a book on the stand and this one had a bright cover so i grabbed it. i met a cute british boy named dave on that trip--he wrote his address in the inside cover. oh, the book: i think some schoolkids became hostages underground or something but even with that set-up i think it was still pretty tame. but what did i expect? once dave even ca ...more
Linda
Jan 25, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began this book because I thought it was a mystery and I am a huge mystery fan. However, it could be, what might be thought of as a YA book. It is about a group of school kids that are kidnapped and their bus buried, with the kids in it. It has so many literary references in it that no matter which genre is falls into the genre is elevated.. The title of the book is a literary quote, which I leave other readers to find. Suspenseful and educational. Recommended by my daughter, a high school lib ...more
Keri
Nov 16, 2015 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a chilling and awesome book. I think that MWW is an underrated author. The book is modeled after the incident in California where a group of teens decided to kidnap a school bus full of children, back in the 70's. MWW's version is much more scarier as law-enforcement races against time to catch a madman that has taken some of their most vulnerable citizens. This book was absolutely heart pounding and nail biting, as you are plunged into the nightmare with these kids. Don't miss it!
Dark Star
Nov 15, 2012 Dark Star rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of crime stories. Maybe this one got to me more because of the children. Or maybe it was Walter, who quickly became my favorite character in the book.
This was a great crime story. A story within a story. Very riveting, entertaining and interesting to get into the head of a religious zealot.
This is my first Molly Cates story...btw..Molly is very smart character in the book and I really liked how the author portrays this woman. She has a heart and displays much wisdom.
Cali
Jan 06, 2009 Cali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
I really liked this book, and would have given it 4 stars except that the language is pretty shocking throughout. It is a riveting, fictional, story of a group of school kids and their bus driver who are taken hostage by a religious cult. It is a little slow moving, but intriguing just the same. If foul language doesn't bother you than I would definitely recommend it, otherwise steer clear.
Jess B
Jul 20, 2012 Jess B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book surprised me and grabbed me from the very first page. It may not actually be a five star book but currently I'm still so immersed in the story and characters that I couldn't consider giving it less than that. Maybe my favorite story that I've read this year....other than The Hunger Games.
Brigitte
Jan 03, 2008 Brigitte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved this thriller. It's fast-paced and you're almost scared to find out what happens next. You keep rooting for the characters and you feel kinda sorry for Mordecai. It's a whirlwind of events and you can't wait to get to the finish.
Penny
Feb 15, 2009 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won both the Anthony and Mcavity awards and is one of the most suspenseful books I have ever read. A real I-can't-put-this-down-until-I-finish-it book but you don't want it to end.
Randa
Sep 14, 2007 Randa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I liked the storyline and the plot of this book. Apart from the necessary action sequence, it could have been a real story. The pace of the storytelling is also good, I read it almost in one sitting.
Gail
Jan 25, 2010 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fanatastic. The bus driver was a hero, and the children were amazingly brave and resilient. I loved the characters, the plot was different, and the author writes like a dream.
Stephanie Cox
This book was a surprise. I picked it up on a whim. It turned out to be a pretty good story. It deals with a cult who is holding 11 school children and their bus driver hostage.
Renee Pawlish
Aug 15, 2011 Renee Pawlish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've ever read, I even wanted to cry at the end. That's incredible writing! It's a great story, a great mystery, and you won't want to put it down.
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Mary Willis Walker is the author of Zero at the Bone, which won both the Agatha and Macavity awards and was nominated for an Edgar; The Red Scream, winner of the Edgar Award; and Under the Beetle's Cellar, recipient of the Hammett Prize, the Anthony Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she is now at work on her fifth novel.
More about Mary Willis Walker...

Other Books in the Series

Molly Cates (3 books)
  • The Red Scream
  • All the Dead Lie Down

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