Lucas lives in places few people have ever seen. Like a shadow,
he slips through steam tunnels, crawl spaces and ceiling ductwork,
shimmying past signs that warn of danger, high voltage and no
entrance. He is “the unseen,” living vicariously
through the people on whom he spies in the Washington, D.C. metro
area. A loner by nature, he relies on his keen senses for survival,
moving from one public building to the next as he sets up temporary
“homes.” But Lucas is not alone. A chance meeting one
night with another urban explorer whisks him out of his
comfortable, hidden world and into a whirlwind of danger and
Lucas’s memories begin at age six, where he lived in an
orphanage until he turned 18. Everything prior to that is a blank
--- not hazy or sketchy, just completely blank. Even his orphanage
memories are limited, with no friendships or life-changing
experiences for him to recall. With no loved ones to call his own,
he thrives on imagining the lives of those he sees through the tiny
holes he drills in closets and ceiling tiles. Lucas watches and
listens, waiting for night’s blanket of darkness to cover him
so he can take little souvenirs from unsuspecting office workers
--- a photo here, a scarf there, a trinket or a greeting card.
Gazing at the smiling faces and kind words somehow calms him for
reasons he doesn’t understand. He lives this way for years,
until someone enters his private world. In a heartbeat, that world
starts caving in around him.
When Lucas meets a member of the Creep Club, he is led into a
labyrinth of lies and spies, secret agents and double agents, and
moments of fear unlike any he has ever known. One Creep Club
meeting is enough for Lucas to know that he’s nothing like
these guys who take creeping to a completely different level,
spying on people in their homes and recording what they do. Soon,
however, Creep Club members are turning up dead, and all signs
point to Lucas as the reason.
Bad guys and good guys aren’t always who they appear to be
in this captivating novel. Of all his new “contacts,”
good, bad and in-between, the one who strikes the most fear in him
is the mystery person who follows him --- the man with
Lucas’s face. Worse, it isn’t long before there are two
of them. And not only is his face on two other people, it is
splashed across the newspaper’s front page daily as he is
hunted by police for kidnappings and murders he did not commit.
T.L. Hines combines amazing attention to detail, hateful and
likable characters, and plenty of action with a unique, fascinating
storyline. This well-researched novel just keeps rushing forward
like a whitewater river, twisting and turning, keeping the reader
on edge until the grand finale. Let THE UNSEEN take you into the
very believable, albeit creepy world of these urban explorer spies.
You may never look at a hole in the wall the same way again.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on January 24, 2011