Cave is an intriguing and unusual novel, with vividly portrayed and believable characters, and a plot that keeps you guessing to the end.
I would describe it as a mystery adventure. At the beginning, the protagonist, Marty, finds himself trapped in a deep cave in North Wales and left to die. The action revolves around Marty’s attempts to find a way out, alongside flashbacks that introduce readers to the other people in his life. Through these, we gradually piece together what has happened to Marty and who has tried to kill him (and why).
Marty is a flawed individual with a few skeletons in his closet. He nevertheless captures the reader's interest, if not always our sympathy. Through the flashbacks we find out about his relationships with the two women in his life, his estranged wife Carole and university girlfriend Beth. We also meet his circle of (mostly male) caving buddies, some of whom have surprising secrets of their own. The majority of the novel is actually set above ground, focusing on Marty's job as a forensic chemist, his student days, his return to single life (and his old hobby of caving), and other trips and expeditions he has undertaken.
Although self-published, Cave has been written and edited to a professional standard. It’s not an all-out action adventure (though there certainly are some dramatic scenes in it), but rather a novel about people and relationships, secrets and regrets. As such, it should appeal equally to both male and female readers. In my opinion, it would also make an excellent movie. Highly recommended for lovers of intelligent fiction.
(reviewed 64 days after purchase)