THE TUNNEL by Robert Byrne


Email this review


A smartly paced three-way thriller with an American tunnel engineer leading a British construction team under the English Channel while a maverick Irish terrorist mines the nearly completed hole and tries to blackmail the English into the instant release of all Irish prisoners. That's the plot, and, while some of it is predictable, the shoring detail is spellbinding, especially the intricately worked-out engineering problems. (Essentially the story is an excuse to parade the research which went into an actual tunnel going from Dover to Calais and on which construction bogged down in 1975 because of inflation.) The characters are not all appetizing--at least not the mercurial terrorist, a twisted lad of marginal morality, if that--but the American and his English bird (an environmentalist against the tunnel) and some of the sandhogs (in this case, chalkhogs) have a happy camaraderie that gives a strong boost to the pages passing hydraulically toward () the big BOOM.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1977
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich