Brooks Traps His Readers Completely  

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By: Maddi Lang

Kevin Brooks, determine to create countless novels, has written a piece of fiction called The Bunker Diary, which won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2014.

The Bunker Diary resembles other thriller novels where conflict and violence are present as well as character(s) in the wrong spot at the wrong time. In this novel, six very different characters are drugged and taken to an underground bunker where they are forced to do unspeakable things to survive under the harsh conditions their predator/kidnapper presents them.

It all begins with the main character, Linus, who is living on the street due to the constant arguments he has with his father after his mother passed away. Linus is part of a wealthy family, but due to the poor relationship he has with his father, he moves out to go to college. Soon after, Linus finds himself failing college, forcing him to move onto the streets. One day he helps a supposedly blind man move a heavy box into a vehicle, but that kindness puts him in grave danger, for the blind man is not blind; he is the unknown kidnapper that is constantly mentioned throughout the novel.

The second victim is 9-year-old Jenny. She is the hero who convinces the kidnapper to send food down for everyone to eat. The third victim is Anja, a beautiful but selfish woman. The fourth victim is Bird, an older businessman who shows affection to Anja. The final two are Fred, who is an addict, and Russell, who is an old man with a brain tumor.

Linus and the other five victims try everything they can think of to escape the bunker. Because they fail each time, the kidnapper inflicts awful punishments including starvation, painful noises to the ears, or getting knocked out with gasses. Eventually, the kidnapper decides to play with their minds by telling them they can all go free after someone kills someone else.

Brook’s fails to add specific information in the book to help tie the whole storyline together. Once you have finished the novel, you will have many different questions racing through the mind. The Bunker Diary lacks several perspectives and readers could end up feeling that the ending is just simply absurd. It would be more pleasant to read if Brooks added more details in the eyes of others besides the main character.  

A question that constantly popped into my head while reading the book is, “Why can’t the readers know more about the kidnapper or what the outside world is doing due to all the kidnappings?”  The outside world is completely removed.

Despite these concerns, I would still recommend this book to anyone who is interested in thrillers. The Bunker Diary traps readers until the last words. The novel keeps people guessing about what will happen next. Who knows, you may find yourself trapped forever between the pages in the book, for sometimes the ending is just not enough. The novel leaves you with a huge cliffhanger.

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