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The World Beneath

(Joe Tesla #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,407 ratings  ·  268 reviews
***Winner of International Thriller Writers's Best Ebook Original Novel award!*** Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes the ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published November 25th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published November 24th 2013)
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it'chy the epub file available for download has 238 pages

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4.05  · 
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 ·  2,407 ratings  ·  268 reviews

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J.F. Penn
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Joe Tesla lives in the tunnels under New York's Grand Central Station, marooned there by an attack of agoraphobia that cripples him with panic if he tries to go outside. One night, as he roams his underground terrain, he comes upon a man, clearly ex-military, breaking down a wall to reveal a old train-car, the inhabitants bricked up alive to stop them sharing their secrets. When the man is murdered, and the madness he carried in his brain released, Tesla must race against time to stop more peopl ...more
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The World Beneath, Cantrell moves from the sinister world of World War II Germany to a quirky, claustrophobic, more quietly dangerous world beneath New York City. We've all taken the subway before, but what if you could never leave? Even if you had a cozy, elegant home, what would your life become? Now imagine that Alfred Hitchcock answered that question, and you have some idea of what you're in for with The World Beneath.

The World Beneath is a serious page-turner, whether it's from the actio
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is a wonderful quirky book. Joe Tesla is a software engineer who has made a fortune with his company, Pellucid. While visiting New York City, Joe experiences a debilitating panic attack leading to agoraphobia. He cannot leave Grand Central Station or the underground tunnels where he has taken residence of a large Victorian home underground. Joe meets a strange homeless man in the tunnels who is on a mission and from there, Joe's world changes.

A great read. This book won the international th
Rebecca Cantrell is another author new to me. I had seen her name on a couple of books co-authored with James Rollins, who I really like, so that was a good incentive.

Turns out this was a really enjoyable book. The main character, Joe Tesla, is a millionaire software engineer who suffers from sever agoraphobia, forcing him to live underground. He also has the mental condition of color synesthesia, which means he sees numbers as colors. The author describes these conditions very well and made the
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft
quite entertaining;
a refreshing duo, although one of them (view spoiler)

p64: he'd leave the too-large shoes he'd worn for the murder and a few bloody bills next a homeless man who slept near this very exit.

p126: he would find out find out the name of brandon's killer.

p225: that exactly true, but he kept going.
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Tesla is agoraphobic and lives a New York life, underground away from people. He becomes caught up in a plot involving Dr Dubois infecting humans, germ warfare style. We follow Tesla, as he comes across a body and goes on the run to escape a killer.

An enjoyable adventure, that made me feel slightly claustrophobic. Amazing that most of the story takes place underground and Joe manages to survive this strange lifestyle with his faithful dog. After the historical Hannah Vogel series, I wondered
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
3.25 Stars. I would have jumped this up a higher rating had the ending been beefed up. Seriously only the doctor paid for his crimes? Not one person in the government paid for what was covered up? This is fiction...all the bad guys get it in the end in fiction. Isn't that a law or something?? Now if this was real life I could totally see the government joes getting off...happens all the time, but fiction...nuh-huh. I may pick up the next Joe Tesla just to see where it goes from here.
This is my first book by this author, but it definitely won't be my last.

What would you do if you suddenly developed agoraphobia and couldn't leave the subway tunnels? What would you do if you saw something you weren't supposed to and now are in danger? That's what our hero has to live with. How can he survive when he can't even go outside?

Joe Tesla was such an awesome character. He was a successful business man but suddenly developed agoraphobia. He now lives in a house that's under the subway
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Technothriller I totally recommend. A new favorite author! I discovered Rebecca because of her working with one of my favorite authors James Rollins. This was a pleasant surprise because what she added to James Rollins was the romance, apparently. We know how I feel about romance, SMH.
This book was not a romance, it is full of action, technology (techno-thriller) and chuck full of adventure and the spirit of the chase.
I get Joe Tesla (yes that Tesla, well that family). I live in an isolated ca
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been intrigued by the tunnels underneath NYC.. And, this book adds all of the elements one desires in a mysterious sleuthing novel! The characters are very well developed.. and one is snared into the story from the first paragraph!

The story centers on a very well to do millionaire who is suddenly struck down with a fear of being outside.. and has the means to live in one of the rare homes that was built underneath the streets of NYC at the turn of the last century.

While out jogging
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It blows my mind that, with a small exception, Rebecca Cantrell has managed to fill an entire novel set underneath New York. It’s not just dirt and trains, it’s history, action, and heartbreak. It picks you up and transports you along faster than you can get from station to station. Joe Tesla is a sharp new main character that is as intriguing as he is endearing. Trapped underground with his four-legged service companion, Edison, they manage to stumble upon a decade’s old mystery that sends them ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating storyline about an agoraphobic who cannot leave the NYC subway system. Thrilling mystery series with creative characters and one of the most unique books I've ever read (bought the series as it is so fascinating). Working in New York, I'm very familiar with the subway system and train stations that are the setting, but Joe takes us behind the scenes into the tunnels and work areas none of us ever see except from the window of a train. Absolutely love this series!!!
Deborah Ledford
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mystery
I'm a huge fan of Rebecca Cantrell's books and must say this first release of her new series is quite a wild ride. Joe Tesla's already troubled world is thrown amiss in this hi-tech, relevant and thought provoking journey. I highly recommend this visual and exciting read. Looking forward to finding out how this talented writer progresses the series.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fast-paced, super-effective thriller with an original and very interesting main character, a genius millionaire who is a descendant of Nikola Tesla. A bit on the simplistic side here and there, and the "big reveal" comes a little too late, but all in all will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can.
Sandra Knapp
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I totally enjoyed this mystery. A bit of science fiction, murder, conspiracies all rolled into one. The story of a man with Agoraphobia, who got lucky, IMO, to have a home he could actually access right from the main terminal for the NYC subway system. He didn't have to go "outside" to get a good workout, access to all kinds of shops and whatever he might need. What more could a person ask for, especially if you are basically forced to live inside?

On one of his little "walks" with his service do
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-n-serial-reads
For those like me who stress about fictional dogs in books, there is a dog in danger in this one. Here's the spoiler on him (view spoiler).

This was the Barnes and Noble Nook Serial Read for the month of September. I wasn't sure how I felt about Joe initially, but I really grew to like him. It was interesting to have someone suffering from agoraphobia as the lead character in any book, but esp
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Author has potential just hasn't reached it yet

Author has potential just hasn't reached it yet

I liked his concept of a protagonist with agoraphobia, and the protagonist's self-insight (and humor) but the plot wasn't terribly convincing -- not enough details to make me believe that Joe Tesla was a computer genius, and a few too many coincidences. Although it was enough to get me to finish the book, it wasn't enough to get me to read the next one in the series.

In my humble opinion the author is a
Paula Howard
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once you start reading The World Beneath, don't plan on having time for anything else. The 1st evening I started it, I was up until 3:30. I couldn't put it down. I would have finished it but knew I had to get a few hours of sleep to be able to function in the school library. Finished it the next night.

Joe Tesla is a millionaire living in NYC. Currently Joe is living beneath NYC in a mansion located in the subway tunnels. With no explanation, Joe has suddenly developed agoraphobia which is why h
Graham Downs
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
The story was good, and the dialogue was very tight. The pacing was excellent; it kept me wanting to read more.

I've never been to New York, much less the subway system, so everything I know about that comes from television and books. Still, Cantrell's expert descriptions mad me feel like I was actually there, and knew every subway tunnel, station, and street intersection in the city! I was a bit confused at first by the description of the clock tower, until she made a reference to the movie Mada
Tricia Douglas
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great story! I'd been wanting to read this Joe Tesla series for a while and now I'm hooked. This is a very different story, maybe with even a little fantasy thrown in, but it definitely kept me entertained! Joe Tesla is an agoraphobic living underneath the streets of New York, wandering the dirty subways along with his dog Edison. Evil, mystery, and murder are the key words in Cantrell's book. Tesla is one of those heroes you'd love to have on your side. You might say this is the underground ver ...more
Peter Plantec
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a story well told and the reason I give it five stars is that I feel comfortable in this world and like the characters...even the bad guys. Also, Cantrell is clearly a very smart writer. Not only does she know grammar, she knows technology and psychology as well. This knowledge plays a part in her fine storytelling. She also uses some refreshing verbal images and turns of the phrase.

Joe Tesla is a deeply flawed but likable hero surrounded by interesting characters. One of which, his body
Rosemary K
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Tesla should be on the top of the world. He's a successful businessman and a millionaire. Suddenly his life changes. With no warning he develops agoraphobia (extreme fear of public places). Now he lives in the underground tunnels beneath Grand Central Station. While exploring his new realm, he meets a mysterious man and sees to much. He is now a hunted man. Will he live to tell his tale? Rebecca Cantrell's new series is a rewarding story filled with suspense, political intrigue and mystery, ...more
Clark Hallman
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, crime, thriller
The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell: Software millionaire Joe Tesla’s life changed suddenly when he became terrified of being outdoors. Therefore he moved into a large underground Victorian mansion that had been built inside the New York City subway system. Now he and his service dog Edison use the tunnels of the NYC underground to exercise and to visit restaurants, stores, gyms and other destinations that are accessible through the tunnels. It’s a fascinating premise and Cantrell weaves a ter ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, 2014, re-read
I listened to this on audiobook, mostly in one day. I caught my heart racing many times throughout the book, not just at the end. This book tells the story of Joe Tesla, a young software millionaire who, suddenly stricken with agoraphobia, roams the tunnels of New York City subway system. He also lives in a three-story Victorian mansion below the city. What? Wow. Ok. One night, he comes across a man breaking through a brick wall where they discover a 1940's presidential train car. After witnessi ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book was recommended to me, by someone on the audiobook group... of course, I then turned around and read it on my kindle, and completely forgot that I had the audio version. Have to admit that the story surprised me. All of the action takes place below New York City, in the subway/steam pipe/sewer tunnels that are below the city. Main character suffers from agoraphobia and cannot leave this underground world. Excellent story - though, just a bit improbable - which gives a bit of insight in ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you just sort of fall into and never want it to end. The characters are engaging and comfortable, so it doesn't take long before you feel like a part of their world. The chaos taking place under the city is fascinating, the conspiracy that's caused everything is engaging from beginning to end, and there's action and mystery aplenty.

My only regret is that book #2 is not yet available. Book one ends with a satisfying and fulfilling conclusion, but there's a hint of
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Tesla, pursued by an assassin , shackled by agoraphobia, races through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath New York to stop a government program gone bad. (Imagine that).
Living in a mansion underground millionaire genius Tesla is a fascinating character. Aided by a few others and faithful dog Edison, the author does a great job making one feel alone surrounded by millions .
I haven't spent this much time beneath New York since "Relic" and "Reliquary"
Fast paced read . I gave it 4 stars ( gre
David Schwan
I'm giving this 3 stars, but 2.75 stars would be a better fit. There are too many unresolved issues in the first 2/3 of the book and these detract from the limited plot. The main character is fine but we always have colors described anytime numbers are involved--this is to reflect the synesthesia the main character has; at times this statement of colors gets tedious and does nothing to further our understanding of the main character. The other characters connected to Joe Tesla are interesting bu ...more
Vera Maslow
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I picked this book up I got Tunnel vision. Didn't want to put this story down. An intriguing mystery with a slight Sci-Fi feel to it. It follows Joe Tesla and his side kick Edison. Love that dog. Joe tries to solve a murder and how it connects to a bricked in train car from the 1940s while dodging killers, cops, and government. Great book, all set in the tunnels beneath New York City. Can't wait for the next Joe Tesla book!
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Software millionaire Joe Tesla wasn't always agoraphobic--the second character in the last couple of books I have read--but it makes a good plot gimmick. He and his psychiatric companion dog Edison live in a real Victorian mansion below the subway structure of Manhattan. Crime is down there, and several people get killed due to a strange virus which could be unleashed by an uncaring doctor. Some parts can get you really shaken up--will they catch him--will he get shot?
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A few years ago Rebecca Cantrell quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer. Now she writes the award-winning Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s. “A Trace of Smoke,” "A Night of Long Knives," "A Game of Lies," and "A City of Broken Glass." She also co-writes the Order of Sanguines series with Jame ...more

Other books in the series

Joe Tesla (4 books)
  • The Tesla Legacy (Joe Tesla, #2)
  • The Chemistry of Death (Joe Tesla, #3)
  • The Steel Shark (Joe Tesla, #4)
“Subway tunnels breathe. They exhale when trains come and inhale when they leave. Their concrete lungs fill with smoke and soot and rubber and the scents of a hundred ladies’ perfumes. When trains aren’t running, the tunnels hold their breath. They might let wisps of warm air drift into the cold night, draw in slow nips of bracing frost, but mostly they sit still, waiting for trains to bring them back to life.
A thousand times a day their breath coursed over Joe Tesla’s body. It was not so warm as human breath, nor yet so cold as stone. He was used to it, now.
Because he lived here, underground, in the tunnels of New York City.”
“Let’s go on a mission for food and Internet, the staffs of life.” 0 likes
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