Published: 28/07/2016
ISBN: 9781785892318
eISBN: 9781785895814
Format: Paperback/eBook

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Subway 4
by Violet Hunter

“Her coat caught my eye, black with white polka dots, tightly belted. A gust of wind caught her scarf and it lifted and billowed out. The colours caught my attention and I stopped – breath catching in my throat.”

Modern and contemporary novel Subway 4 follows the lives of Jimmy Naylor and Valerie Wilding in winter, 2013, a time of severe recession. Living separately in a desolate area of south east London, where the only views outside their windows are train tracks and neglected housing estates, life is bleak.

Frustrated with his existence, Jimmy joins the NER, a far right group, and suddenly his life becomes very different. Far away from his usual routine, how will Jimmy cope with his new life? Meanwhile, Valerie, daughter of African-Caribbean parents, is happy with her new boyfriend and finds her career blossoming as an actor. However, when a murder shatters her life, Valerie loses her sense of purpose. Will a chance encounter with a mystery girl at a bus stop propel her on an increasingly dangerous pursuit of justice? Only time will tell...

Subway 4 is told from two alternating narrative voices and will appeal to those readers who enjoy an intriguing story, incorporating a thriller element.

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Subway4 is an edgy page-turner and I liked it a lot. Written in the first person the characters’ feelings and internal states are highlighted and the reader can expect to go through a whole range of emotions with them - fear, anger, shock, excitement, sadness, frustration, compassion… The growing relationship between Valerie and Anton is convincing and affecting. There are some good cliff-hangers and I enjoyed the quick pace although I would have liked it to be longer too.
This book brilliantly conveys the horrendous damage that racism and racial hatred causes, and the way people’s lives can fall apart, often through various stages, as a result.

by Dee B

A wonderful novel! Powerful stuff! I really enjoyed reading it.

The switching between the main characters each chapter works very well and I’ve not come across that before. I think the real achievement is that Violet addresses the human being very well in both of these characters and solves the sticky problem of not being ‘sympathetic’ with the racist whilst still showing his inner turmoil. The silk scarf is a evocative image that really came alive for me.

by Szczels


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