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The Tunnels  By  cover art

The Tunnels

By: Kristie Dickinson
Narrated by: Jack de Golia
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Publisher's Summary

Harbor Springs is a tiny resort town in northern Michigan that serves as the summertime playground of the wealthy, famous, and sometimes infamous. Starting a new business with her aunt, the fiercely independent Kylie Branson moves to town and unwittingly purchases for her home what had once been the summer stomping grounds of the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit. Soon she finds herself getting into predicament after predicament. Fortunately for Kylie, local fire chief Jason Lange always seems to show up at the right moment to rescue her. Unfortunately for Chief Lange, Kylie isn't the kind of girl who believes in being rescued. When Kylie's puppy gets stranded in an old air shaft in the woods, Kylie soon discovers that she may have gotten more than she bargained for when she purchased her home. Could the local lore about what was once Club Manitou be true? Kylie won't rest until she has learned the whole story.

©2016 Kristie Dickinson (P)2016 Kristie Dickinson

What listeners say about The Tunnels

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Romance, Tunnels, and More

The premise of this book is intriguing. However, the plot could be stronger. The story transports you back to the 1930s, to a speakeasy named Club Manitou, run by the Purple Gang. Soon we discover that the maître d’ and employee of the Purple Gang, is having an illicit affair with a married woman, whose husband is a frequent gambler at the club. Just as the couple’s tête-à-tête begins, a gunshot sounds and they realize a raid is in progress.

Fast forward to present day where we meet Kylie, proud new owner of the old Gerhart place (Club Manitou), as she tries to find her lost puppy, Cupcake. The dog has found her way into an old air shaft and Kylie, unable to get the dog out herself, calls the fire chief, Jason, to help her. So begins her journey into discovering the tunnels and the building’s history.

Three love stories weave through this book, one in the present day between Kylie and Jason, and the other two from the thirties; Paul, the maître d’ and Phyliss, his married lover; and Willie, with the forbidden love of his young life.

I enjoy books that layer events from a past era with the current day and bring the two storylines together at the end. The time shifts in this book were sometimes a little confusing, and it was not always readily discernable what year it was for the first sentence or two. The love stories would be better with further character development. Willie, who was not the main character, and his sweetheart had the most fully developed love story of the three.

This book feels like a cozy mystery or romance. Even with the illicit affair, it is tame. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Some of the cons for me were the backstories of the main characters. I never felt connected to Paul and Phyliss and thought that the romance between Kylie and Jason left a lot of room for growth. Kylie and Jason’s “love” seemed contrived and too instant. We discover what happens to Paul and Phyliss, but there are not enough details or explanations. While part of me liked the idea presented in the epilogue it felt too convenient.

Jack de Golia’s narration was good. The men’s voices were distinctive, but the women’s voices were either too little-girl-like or old womanly. In the book, the protagonist refers to her dog as Cupcake, Cuppie, Cupcakie, etc. Every time the narrator read those words, my ears were annoyed. The combination of those words being read excitedly in a man’s woman-voice was like fingernails on a blackboard. It might have been better if a woman had read it – but then, the men’s voices might have been off.

To summarize my thoughts, the story premise is sound; the story needs additional character development, and the epilogue needs work to make it believable, and not just a convenient ending.

The production quality was excellent.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

3 people found this helpful

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Good story idea, kind of abstract way of putting it together

the story idea is nice but i dont think enough connection was done to correlate the past and present. i liked the connection will Willie, but not sure of the purpose restaurant manager and the Herrist. i get that brings together the tunnels but i think maybe having some notes found in the incinerator to increase the curiosity. as mentioned the idea is really good, but it could have been pulled together more. its just barley touching on romance, more from past characters then the present

1 person found this helpful

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Two thumbs up

What did you like best about this story?

Well written, intriguing story! I like the characters. As a Michigan native, I love that this book is set in my state! :)

1 person found this helpful

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Double The Pleasure!

What did you love best about The Tunnels?

I have been to Northern Michigan too many times to count and had never heard about the tunnels before hearing this story. I both learned something and was thoroughly entertained while doing so. Next time I pass through the area I will stop and do more research.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the intertwining of generations and I thought the characters were well developed. It moved along really well, and it had me guessing as to what was going to happen next (which usually was completely wrong). I allowed myself to get lost in it, and I wasn't disappointed.

Which character – as performed by Jack de Golia – was your favorite?

Willie was my favorite but Cupcake runs a close second.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I liked the entire piece, and thought it flowed extremely well the entire way through. Nothing in particular stood out, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. It held my attention from start to finish.

Any additional comments?

I really liked how the story came together, and both the writing and performance gelled very well in my opinion. I would absolutely read/listen to more work by the author, and I liked this story so much I listened to it again. I don't do that often, and I found it just as entertaining the second time through.

Terrific work Miss Dickinson! Your word use is outstanding. If I had to bet I would bet you are an excellent Scrabble player as well.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed the mystery!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Tunnels to be better than the print version?

N/A I always prefer audiobooks so I can do other things at the same time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kylie was spunky and persistent in unraveling the tale despite the cuts and bruises.

What about Jack de Golia’s performance did you like?

Jack has a grasp of the characters so he can bring them to life. Good diction and cadence holds your attention throughout the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it's easier to follow the characters and story line. The twists and turns kept you guessing.

Any additional comments?

"I was voluntarily provided this review copy at no charge by the author, publisher and or narrator.”

1 person found this helpful

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Better than expected!!

Not gonna lie, I wasn't expecting much from this book when I decided to give it a try via Audible Escape. To my surprise, I was utterly charmed by the intriguing story and lovable characters; I also appreciated the humor. Honestly the only thing keeping me from giving this five stars is that it wasn't longer! There was so much going on, three or four different couples and all their personal drama, that it felt like we just skimmed the surface. There was enough material for a full-length novel here, maybe more than one. It's actually a testament to Dickinson's skill that it didn't feel rushed or crammed, just...small, I guess. So yeah, I really enjoyed this book and wish it could have been more fleshed out.

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Good Narration

Harbor Springs a summer playground town for the rich, a house that has a past of a gang residing there. Secrets of the past still linger, much to the dismay of Kylie when things keep happening. Fire Chief Jason seems to be close by when she needs help. Cute romance, and good narration. Given audio for my voluntary review and my honest opinion

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The Tunnels

A good story with some romance,mystery and maybe a bit of magic. Kylee buys a house that was once a restaurant run by the mob.There are tunnels under it and now its secrets are coming to light. Jack de Golia was a fine narrator.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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it was interesting

I liked the story line, but it was a little to much whining of one of the main characters. she was just to look cluttsey for me you know. and the guy was also a bit took much as well.

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Disjointed and jarring

The storyline is disjointed by more than the time cuts. There are jumps in the plot, where relevant facts just appear, they aren't discovered.

The Narrator makes the women sound like little girls, his falsetto is jarring. I don't know if it's because I'm more used to women doing men's voices than I am men performing women's.

But it is an interesting premise. I think more work should have gone into the editing.

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  • Paul Hulbert
  • 12-18-20

Good imaginative storyline , great narration

Touching on the past in the prohibition era , this romantic novel was great to listen to
The narration was very good and suited the book well.

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  • Christy D
  • 11-07-20

The Tunnels

This is a fun listen and the narration is nice. After purchasing a house that used to be a mob summer hotspot, Kylie finds herself in mess after mess trying to redo the house. With each mess she learns fascinating historical details about the home.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-20

A good listen

One of the things I find hard to do is listen to a book that has a women as the main character read by a man. I find that a little of putting.