"Foss, a twenty six year old gym owner, runs into financial difficulty alongside six of his closest friends. Seemingly at the right time, Deano who is considered the criminal of the group gets a tip off about an abandoned house from a mysterious woman outside his home. Tired of the deprivation they have endured in different ways from a young age, the seven men pull together an plan to burgle the abandoned house previously owned by a retired entrepreneur. With high hopes of finding valuables of worth to ease their burdens, Foss and the others view the robbery as a minor step towards an easier lifestyle if they found anything of significance. When the time came for the robbery to commence Foss and the group are stunned when they discover money and drugs in the old and rusted building. Filled with annoyance that he may have bit off more than he could chew Foss lets paranoia consume him before being able to relax and enjoy having money to spend. Little did he know that their sinful actions would trigger a sinister chain of events that, beyond their control, would change their lives forever.
Based on the 7 Deadly Sins, Underclass 7 is a mystery-thriller that explores the concept that ones most indulged sin can lead to an eventful downfall."
I really liked the concept of this book; it had the potential to be totally absorbing and utterly gripping but I feel like it needed just a little bit more fine tuning. For me, I was constantly aware that I was reading a book and I did not get totally lost within the story in the way that I thought I would. I think that came from a combination of things. I found that some things did not quite add up, for example, Foss sharing a bottle of rosé wine on an evening in with his girl did not fit in with his image at all. In addition, I understand that the author was trying to set the scene and the background to the characters, but I found their constant over-drinking (and, in particular, them then getting behind the wheel of a car) somewhat draining.
I would have liked a little more suspense throughout the entirety of the book. I did not find there was any drawn out areas where the reader is drip fed clues to build the suspense and make the reader draw wild conclusions. Instead, there is a reference throughout to the stones that Foss takes from the house and it is fairly obvious from the beginning that they have something to do with the downfall of the characters and I found it frustrating that they were brought to our attention so often but that Foss simply disregarded them each time.
I loved the link to the 7 deadly sins and thought the outcome of their predicament was a fabulous revelation which I had not seen coming at all and I just wish that, somehow, more could have been made of it. The last chapter, which jumps forward 18 months, is fabulous. It lulls you into a false sense of security and then bang, it leaves you on a cliffhanger that will leave you willing the sequel to arrive (and I understand from the author that there will be a sequel in time).
It sounds, from this review, as though I did not enjoy Underclass 7 and that is far from the truth. This honest review highlights areas which, as a reviewer, jumped off the page to me, but I would not hesitate to read the sequel (I am dying to know what happens!) and I think this author has real potential. You can read some more about Tannika here. I see that Tannika (alongside being an author) is a student - currently studying Criminal Justice at university. Her biography says she hopes to write a crime trilogy in the future and think that has the potential to be up there with the best.