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 makes 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?
I read Tubing on a hot afternoon and I guarantee that if you enjoy a hot and steamy summer read, you’ll be in for a treat if you give Tubing a go. By that, I mean the book, Tubing of course – taking it any further after you’ve read all about it in K.A McKeagney’s dark and erotic novel is entirely up to you…
If you’ve ever travelled on a packed tube carriage and locked eyes with a handsome and mysterious stranger, you’ll definitely be able to identify with Polly’s initial introduction to this underground scene in London. This hookup mechanism is both literally and metaphorically underground, allowing complete strangers to set up intimate encounters via Twitter where they can indulge in their ultimate fantasy of anonymous and risky sex in a public place. I’d never heard of this phenomenon before and I’m not sure if it is a real ‘thing’ or not but I’m sure that stranger things have happened.
Polly was a difficult character to grapple with, I was intrigued by her behaviour without being drawn to her personality. She acted very selfishly for this first part of the book and it’s only as the book continues and we can see her backstory and begin to appreciate the difficulties in her past that we can have a bit more sympathy for her as a person. Her actions are quite hard to understand at times as it feels like her obsession with the world of Tubing and her relationship with her boyfriend Ollie was a little bit like she was trying to ‘have her cake and eat it’ in terms of safety with a dash of sexual excitement.
Ollie’s sister was a stand-out character for me and without giving any spoilers, she’ll intrigue you too with her interfering as the book progresses. I do think there were a couple of times during this book that my suspension of disbelief hit a few rough patches, but it was a fast and racy read so I wasn’t too bothered about how probable Polly’s shenanigans might be in real life.
If you are heading for the beach this summer and enjoy a saucy read and a page-turning finalè, then you should definitely pack Tubing in your holiday suitcase. It’s not for the faint-hearted though and if you think you might have trouble with raunchy frolics on public transport then this is possibly not the summer read for you. It’s been pitched as Girl on the Train meets Fifty Shades so that might help you decide whether the ‘Sound of the Underground’ would be too much for you as a reader. If you like a bit of spice in your sunlounger read, then I’ve just found you the perfect holiday book. Enjoy!
Writer On The Shelf
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.