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Book Review – The Tunnels by Michelle Gagnon

The Tunnels
by Michelle Gagnon
304 pages
Published June 1, 2007
Fiction, mystery/suspense/thriller

I’ve been wanting to read The Tunnels by Michelle Gagnon ever since I read both The Gatekeeper and Boneyard. The impetus came when Jen from Jen’s Book Thoughts conceived of Detectives Around the World and asked if I would participate. The first detective that came to mind was Gagnon’s FBI Special Agent Kelly Jones, and I quickly told Jen that I claimed Kelly Jones as my detective.

You know how sometimes you read an author’s second or third or fourth book, then go back and try to read one of their earlier books only to find that the first or earlier books aren’t as top notch? This totally wasn’t the case here! I loved The Gatekeeper and Boneyard so much that her first book had a lot to live up to as far as I was concerned, but live up it did!

Gagnon writes fantastic crime fiction. A pet peeve of mine is when the author gives you the name of the killer about half way through. When I’m reading crime fiction, I DON’T WANT TO BE TOLD WHODUNNIT. I want to guess, I want to bite my fingernails, I want to be unsure of who it could be. As soon as I have a name, I have no doubt when the detective has found their man. It takes away a lot of suspense when I know the killer’s name! Obvs, Gagnon didn’t give me the killer’s name until the end.

Since The Tunnels is Gagnon’s first novel, we meet FBI Special Agent Kelly Jones for the first time (who is in both Boneyard and The Gatekeeper) at a New England college investigating two murders that seem ritualistic. It becomes apparent that the killer is going to kill more girls, so Jones and her partner Morrow must do the impossible and find the killer before he kills more girls. Even better, there’s dark, ancient pagan rituals that make the killer that much crazier!

When I first bought this book, I was a little disappointed at the page count. The Tunnels, coming in at 304 pages, isn’t particularly long or short, it’s just that I love Gagnon’s stories so much, I was worried I’d feel the plot was rushed, but I didn’t feel that way at all. In fact, I thought it was perfect. One thing that annoyed me about another crime fiction I read recently was the lack of suspects. I mean, don’t detectives have to go through a fair amount of suspects? I want alibis and shifty people! And I got alibis and shifty people in The Tunnels!

So if you don’t understand what I’m trying to say, let me say it simpler: I LOVED THE TUNNELS.

Please make sure and check out all the fun Detectives Around the World posts happening this week!

Rating: 90 out of 100

Michelle Gagnon’s website.

Michelle also blogs at The Kill Zone on Thursday.

Book source: I bought this book myself.

| Tags: 15 comments »

15 Responses to “Book Review – The Tunnels by Michelle Gagnon”

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    Sounds like a series I need to be reading!

    [Reply]

  2. Stephanie

    This sounds terrific. I am WAY overdue for a good thriller! And I am with you on hating it when the author outs the killer halfway through the book. What’s a good mystery without the whodunnit??

    [Reply]

  3. Word Lily

    Ooh, sounds good! I haven’t read any Gagnon.

    [Reply]

  4. Robin of My Two Blessings

    I loved the series. I really like her writing and read the Tunnels first which really captured my attention. The ending of The Gatekeeper thoroughly confused me and I read it three times thinking I missed something. I’ve been following her and the other authors on The Kill Zone for quite a while.

    [Reply]

  5. Jen Forbus

    Trish, so glad you enjoyed THE TUNNELS. You’re spot on; this series is outstanding!

    Thanks so much for participating with us. I’m glad you could and I’m also glad you highlighted Michelle’s wonderful Agent Kelly!

    [Reply]

  6. Kay

    Isn’t this a great series? I’m so glad that you highlighted it. Many more people need to know about it. I love it. Enjoyed the review and it makes me want to go back and reread it!

    [Reply]

  7. DarcyO

    I have read all three Kelly Jones books and just like you, I loved them. Can’t wait to find out what she’s up to next!

    [Reply]

  8. frankie

    I checked out this book as my 1st download on my Reader but decided on the Postmistress instead. Usually with mysteries I like to go back and check the characters for a clue. I will check this out at the library in the very near future.

    [Reply]

  9. Christine McCann

    It recently came to my attention how few crime fiction series I’ve been reading have lead detectives who are female. I’ve been attempting to remedy that and am thrilled to have another recommendation! Thank you for the intro to Special Agent Jones!

    [Reply]

  10. Beth F

    I am such a sucker for a good mystery series — and like you, I don’t want to know who did it and I want to be guessing all the way through.

    [Reply]

  11. Lisa

    Alibis and shifty people are a must for me in a good crime book–how are you not going to figure out where the books going if there aren’t options? Sounds like aseries I’ll want to look into.

    [Reply]

  12. Michelle Gagnon

    I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed THE TUNNELS, Trish! Thanks for the wonderful review, it made my day.

    [Reply]

  13. kathleen

    I love crime fiction so this one is right up my alley!

    [Reply]

  14. zibilee

    This looks like a great book and I am glad you had such a good experience with it! Thrillers aren’t my usual genre, but I find myself really tempted by this book. I will have to check it out and see what I think! Great review!

    [Reply]

  15. Richard R.

    I just dropped in as I’m following the Detectives Around the World meme. I had the impression the point here was to place a novel in a specific city or area, and all I can see from the review is mention of New England College. Where, exactly – or as exactly as the author gives – is this one set?

    [Reply]

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