Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel Tubing from K.A. McKeagney.
Many thanks to RedDoor Publishing and Netgalley for my copy of Tubing.
Polly, 28, lives in London with her ‘perfect-on-paper’ boyfriend. She works a dead end job on a free London paper… life as she knows it is dull. But her banal existence is turned upside down late one drunken night on her way home, after a chance encounter with a man on a packed tube train. The chemistry between them is electric and on impulse, they kiss, giving in to their carnal desires. But it’s over in an instant, and Polly is left shell-shocked as he walks away without even telling her his name.
Now obsessed with this beautiful stranger, Polly begins a frantic online search, and finally discovers more about tubing , an underground phenomenon in which total strangers set up illicit, silent, sexual meetings on busy commuter tube trains. In the process, she manages to track him down and he slowly lures her into his murky world, setting up encounters with different men via Twitter.
At first she thinks she can keep it separate from the rest of her life, but things soon spiral out of control.
By chance she spots him on a packed tube train with a young, pretty blonde. Seething with jealousy, she watches them together. But something isn’t right and a horrific turn of events make Polly realise not only how foolish she has been, but how much danger she is in…
Can she get out before it’s too late?
What Did I Think?
Tubing is a little bit of a different read for me, I normally err away from anything remotely sexual. But there was something about the synopsis that really appealed to me.
The story felt like a book of two halves seamlessly put together. The first half was rather racy, not for anyone who may be prudish when it comes to intimacy or if any form of erotica isn’t your cup of tea. But then after a personal tragedy for Polly, the story takes a dark turn as her life begins to unravel and the psychological thriller element shines through.
I have to say I didn’t particularly like any of the characters in the story. But in a strange kind of way, that kept me reading. Would I come to like these characters or would I see their lives end in shreds?
For me Tubing is a fast paced thriller with sauciness thrown into the mix. The explicit narrative is written in a way that it’s not out of place. The story centres around sexual encounters so it’s needless to say they are kind of required to set the scene. I’d like to think that the dark world of #tubing doesn’t exist but who’s to say what happens on that cramped carriage in rush hour between Holburn and Oxford Circus.
This is an impressive debut! K.A. McMeagney has written a rather compelling read and I really can’t wait to see what she does for her follow up novel!
Who is K.A. McKeagney?
K.A. McKeagney studied psychology in Bristol before completing a Masters degree in creative writing at Brunel. She won the Curtis Brown prize for her dissertation, which formed the basis of her first novel Tubing. She has worked in London as a health editor writing consumer information as well as for medical journals. Her writing has been commended by the British Medical Association (BMA) patient information awards.
She is currently working on her second novel.