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

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  386 ratings  ·  45 reviews
For forty-six days, bus driver Walter Demming and eleven schoolchildren have been buried underground, held captive in the fortified compound of a fundamentalist cult. Deprived of daylight, fresh air and contact with the outside world, they endure the terrifying rants of the cult's leader, the charismatic Samuel Mordecai. He joyfully predicts the arrival of Armageddon - in...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Crimeline (first published November 1995)
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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
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
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
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
Reed Stratton
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodi Lu
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
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
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!...more
Dark Star
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Christy Elkins
One of my favorite books...ever! When I started reading it I wasnt sure I would even enjoy it but as I easily progressed through the book I fell inlove with it! Great story!
Joe O'c
Very Good; Continuing character: crime reporter Molly Cates; religious zealot seals kids and bus driver underground while authorities determine how to rescue them.
First one I've read by Walker, and it was good. Started out slow, but once I got into the story it was interesting. Of course had a happy ending!
Great audiobook with Anna Fields narrating. Miss her voice so much. It is always a treat to find a book she read that I have not listened to yet.
Nov 30, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
Mar 12, 2010 Spartanburg added it
Shelves: mystery
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Deb Cutler
I think there is an uncanny resemblance to the situation occurring today with the underground hostage situation.
sara warner
read this Austin author too long ago to remember much more than it was cool that these were all set in Austin.
Well done suspense, good human interactions. Ending could have been even better than it was, though.
Again, a very scarey mystery but "Legion" is stil my favorite bad guy.
Marlene Arteta
One of the scariest books I've ever read--with a tremendous story behind it.
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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...
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