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3.20  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  24 reviews
He never intended to be a jailer ...

After years of travelling, responsible to no-one but himself, Steve has resolved to settle down. He gets a job, buys a house and persuades Liesel to move in with him.

Life's perfect, until Liesel delivers her ultimatum: if he won't agree to start a family, she'll have to leave. He can't bear to lose her, but how can he face the prospect o
Published May 25th 2017 by Inspired Quill
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Average rating 3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
All of my reviews can be found on

This was a truly unique read with a very dark premise. Steve and Liesel are both odd characters that have a very strange relationship, one of the weirdest that I have ever come across. It was fascinating in the same way that watching a train wreck is and I was gripped throughout this book.

The structure of this was distinct in that it was broken up into six parts instead of a bunch of chapters. Each one began with a brief scene where someone i
Whispering Stories
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
40 year old hospital theatre orderly Steve, has spent the last 20 years travelling the world. After a substantial win on the lottery, he decides that it is now the right time to settle down in one place.

When he meets Liesel by a chance encounter, in the hospital canteen, it is love at first sight. During their first meeting, Steve asks a surprised Liesel to go house hunting with him.

Whilst viewing a property that they thought was okay, the deal clincher is that it has a cellar hidden away. Steve
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
When I was offered an advanced copy of 'Underneath' to read and review, I was immediately struck by the book's gorgeous cover and the intriguing blurb, and I couldn't wait to start reading it.

Having spent two decades travelling round the world, Steve decides to return to the UK and settle down. He meets Liesel at work and the two start a relationship. Liesel makes it clear from the beginning that she's not the maternal type and so kids were not an option. Steve couldn't be happier with this ar
Stephanie Jane
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Underneath is a psychological thriller that goes to some pretty dark places and I loved the sense of foreboding that builds up. We know from the very beginning that Steve will end up using his cellar as a kind of jail and the journey leading him to do so kept me enthralled. I liked the depiction of his burgeoning relationship with Liesel who is a great character and, even though the story is told from Steve's perspective, I felt I ended up kn
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book as I really enjoyed Anne Goodwins short story for the writers bureau competition which she won. For me too much detail was in this book.
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
*Thank you to the author, Anne Goodwin, for sending me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


I read and reviewed Anne Goodwin’s debut novel Sugar and Snails and enjoyed it. When she contacted me about this thriller, and I love thrillers, I was excited to give it a shot.


We follow the first-person point of view of Steve, a man who buys a house and tries to get his life in order. He meets Liesel and they hit it off right away. She moves in with him and
Emma Smith
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-books, 2017
After travelling for years around the world Steve decides it's time to find his own place to call home. Together with his new found friend Liesel, he finds a perfect house with a beautiful cellar. Liesel and Steve have quite different ideas about how the cellar should be used.

Everything moves along quite smoothly at the beginning of the book. Steve and Liesel seem like pretty normal people and their relationship develops well. How could anything go wrong? Well, it does, and there are flashes of
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
By any reckoning, Steve should be happy - he's finally decided to settle down after spending most of his adult life travelling the world; he's won enough on the lottery to buy a nice house; he's got a new attractive girlfriend who's willing to move in with him. How could it all go wrong? But somehow it has, because the reader knows from the outset that Steve has a woman imprisoned in his cellar ...

It sounds rather like the set-up for a psychological thriller or domestic noir full of improbable e
Michelle Ryles
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galleys-read
I really enjoyed Anne Goodwin's amazing debut, Sugar and Snails, so I was eager to see what Anne had written next. Firstly, I have to say that the cover of Underneath is fabulous - it's so dark with a little glimmer of light under the earth, giving us a little hint of what we can expect inside. Whereas Sugar and Snails was heartrending and emotional, if I had to describe Underneath in one word it would be DARK. As different from Sugar and Snails as chalk and cheese, Anne Goodwin turns to the dar ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
**RATING 3.5**

UNDERNEATH by Anne Goodwin is a dark and twisted psychological thriller that is sure to give you the chills.

In this story, we meet Steve and Liesel who are unusual characters with an unusual relationship but it appears to be working for them. They are happy together and agree that children are not an option. But when Liesel changes her mind and throws down an ultimatum, Steve takes matters into his own hands because he will not allow her to just walk out of his life...

The story is
Emma Curtis
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A real page-turner for me. Steve and Liesel meet and fall in love and all seems great. Neither want children and Liesel is happy to move in with Steve to the house he's bought with lottery winnings. A house with a cellar. This novel is disturbing and chilling, dealing with two damaged people who should never have got together. A gripping tale and beautifully written. ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved the sound of the blurb for this book and had enjoyed Anne Goodwin’s previous novel, Sugar and Snails, so I was looking forward to reading Underneath. I think the blurb is brilliant and it really drew me into this book and had me eager to read it. As the reader, already knowing the cellar is going to be put to more sinister use made every mention of the word intriguing and because we already have an idea of what is to come, I raced through this book in anticipation of everything unravelli ...more
Pam Robertson
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

This was such an interesting read, particularly as almost from the outset, I had formed an idea of what Steve was going to do to keep his relationship with Liesel intact and then found that the story turned out to be far from predictable. It is so skilfully written that the reader doesn't notice the misdirections and then has to challenge their own assumptions. We are given a tapestry of episodes from Steve's life and I loved the changes in time with flashbacks to his childhood, which gradually
Jamie Rose
The idea wasn't bad but, disappointingly the execution was poor and I just couldn't get into it. The characters are very irritating, particularly Liesel, the author tries so hard to make her 'quirky' that it just comes over as punchable.

I think generally, unless you experienced a difficult upbringing, you probably shouldn't try writing characters damaged by one, never mind trying to write two or more in one book. The parts dealing with the respective childhood are trite and don't ring true.

May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This book really did leave an indelible impression. It’s claustrophobic and unsettling, complex and rather uncomfortable to read – and I really relished every moment of the experience. The room in the cellar – initially a retreat from the world over a Christmas of an unexpected new relationship, later something totally different – haunted my thoughts as I read, and for a considerable time thereafter.

The depths of this book and its characters didn’t surprise me, but I did find them engrossing – t
Emma Williams
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. Seriously weird. Seriously brilliant.
Elli (Kindig Blog)
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Underneath is a book with a very dark premise although it wasn’t as predictable as it might have been from the blurb. Although we are introduced to the darker reveal of a woman trapped downstairs in the cellar right from the very first chapter, we are left to ponder this as the book takes a more meandering, flash-back approach to the story. We learn all about Steve and his relationship with the flighty Liesel for a good 60% of the book – the origins and their ups and downs. This was a great way ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One word BORING!

Thos was one of the worst books i have ever read. Of i could have given it a minus one i would have. Ms Goodwin you should do us all a favour and stop writing. I pride myself on the fact that i give every book a solid chance of redeeming itself ny the end of the story. Yours did not. As a matter of fact yours reeked from beginning to end and that ending was so bad that it made me angry thst i had given you hours of my life that i will never get back
Go back to your day job. For a
Dorothy Winsor
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book’s first person narrator makes it clear from the first page that he’s holding a woman in his basement. The rest of the book shows us how he got to that point, not only in his current actions but also in his disturbed and disturbing family history. I never came to like the narrator, but I did reluctantly come to understand him. A tense and creepy read.
Clare Stevens
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gripping tale in which the protagonist gradually unravels - leading to chilling consequences. The characterisation is very well done and the setting comes alive. Although not technically a thriller, it hooks the reader in at the start and keeps you guessing with each twist and turn.

Gripping, dark and disturbing, but ultimately redemptive.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very strange book - don't think i entirely "got it" to be honest!!! Kept feeling something epic was going to happen but it didn't!!! Had to read to the end but was very disappointed. Think the author might be on hallucinatory drugs? ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Lots of potential but it falls short.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
One word - disturbing!
Chloe Smith
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
All reviews can be found at
(I received a free digital copy of this book from the author)

Underneath is a literary, psychological suspense that closely inspects the life of Steve and the issues he has surrounding family. Coming into a relationship with Liesel, a woman who did not want a child and eventually changes her mind, Steve cannot comprehend the thought of fatherhood and losing everything good that they have together. With Liesel’s final ultimatum, S
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Pamela Brown
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Dec 26, 2017
Julie Disbury
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2018
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Sep 25, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2017
Donna Mullard
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Sep 22, 2017
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Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Wi

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