Underground

Published: 07-11-2013
Format: EPUB eBook
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781408842614
Imprint: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
RRP: £7.99

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SYNOPSIS

Among the rush hour crowds of the London Underground, someone is pushing women under trains. In his search for the killer, Casimir, a Tube worker, is led ever deeper into the city beneath the city.

Below the hubbub of the Tube lies a labyrinth of deep shelters and derelict Victorian stations, their passages abandoned by all but the homeless. As Casimir explores them in the wake of the murderer, he is also drawn back into his own past and the terrible secrets of his Polish childhood. It is in the Underground that he has gone to ground, hiding from that past, but it is also underground that he also finds shelter, the chance of forgiveness and the emergence of a new life.

EXTRACT

Here. I am here. I am. My mother’s voice comes calling, dipping through the trees.

These are my high places and this is my special place with the black wet town road, horse carts, coal trucks, mud sleighs, a blue car coming to meet me with the flats over it like stone sky. I can see my flat with my head right back on my shoulders, I count up, eight nine ten floors and the winter coat collar wet against my hair. From here I can see almost everything.

My flat has green curtains, not orange. When I hide inside them they have green bits but also blue. I want blue cars and red meat so I am not hungry. I will eat fast to get it while I have the chance. I touch my face with my hands and my hands are colder. My face is nothing, I do not know it.

I can run away under the trees which are white with the snow and blue with the snow in shadow and green and red-skinned and orange where the bark is broken, they are all the colours of traffic lights. I can run down my Strug C Block steps like flying, I go faster than snow when it falls from the wings of trees, I roll and laugh under it. I can press the snow in my hands and it shows I am here. There is proof of me in its shaped blue shadow.

Look at my hands! The cut short nails dig into the snow. The more you press the snow the harder it gets. The skin is going red like meat but meat is only my outside. Inside I am Kazimierz Ariel Kazimierski. If I could choose I would be like the snow.

In my fist the snow drips. All the colour has gone from it, even the white, it is no-colour. It takes time to run away. My hand hurts but I do not let it go. I last, nothing of me has gone. I am stronger than the snow.

I listen. It is now that mother is calling, her voice dipping through the trees. She does not know what I am doing. She does not call for me to stop. No one can see me, so no one will stop me. I breathe deep when I smile.’