Hell’s Underground Series: Scared to Death

Written by Alan Gibbons
Review by Val Loh

Paul Rector is a well-behaved school boy who rarely breaks the rules. His only immediate family is his very protective mother, who inwardly pines for the loss of his brother. However, the truth of his genetic inheritance is about to be revealed as his life is changed irrevocably. This is a magnificent quest of good against evil. Paul follows his destiny in time-slip fashion as the underground provides access to various eras of London’s troubled history. Brilliantly told and skilfully written, these books will delight, horrify, entice and mystify the unsuspecting reader as the ultimate evil of the satanic King Lud threatens.

The series starts with Scared to Death. The prologue shows sibling rivalry and bullying taking on a sinister depth. Paul meets the enigmatic John Redman. His new ‘friend’ shows him a night of teenage revelry, uncharacteristic for Paul. He soon realises there is a link between Redman, himself, Jack the Ripper and a spate of murders where the victims appear to have died of fear. Paul has to overcome Redman’s power and purpose and nurture his own. The ending is gripping as Paul’s lonely quest continues.

King Lud is held by four seals, but one by one they are being broken. Paul’s journey continues. The darkness has deepened, the threat grows. His battle within is ongoing as he fights to take control, defeat Lud and return home.

Excellent reading for young adults and adults alike.