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***** - The Chamber





On a boat heading out into the North Sea, Ellen Brooke steels herself to spend almost a month locked inside a hyperbaric chamber with five other divers. They are all being paid handsomely for this work - to be lowered each day inside a diving bell to the sea bed, taking it in turns to dive down and repair oil pipes that lie in the dark waters. It is a close knit team and it has to be: any error or loss of trust could be catastrophic.


All is going to plan until one of the divers is found unresponsive in his bunk. He hadn't left the chamber. It will take four more days of decompression, locked away together, before the hatch can be opened. Four more days of bare steel, intrusive thoughts, and the constant struggle not to give way to panic. Mind games, exhaustion, suspicion, and, most of all, pressure. And if someone does unlock the door, everyone dies...



Will Dean is one of my favourite authors – his reads are always fast-paced thrillers, and each one is unique in its premise. The Chamber, set in a hyperbaric diving chamber is no exception and I was so excited to start reading.

It’s clear that a lot of research has gone into this book which is certainly to be commended. The story is told through the eyes of Ellen, a veteran diver who is attempting to record various aspects of the dives to inspire more women to get into the field. It’s such a fascinating glimpse into an industry I know nothing about (although, it hasn’t inspired me to want to take the plunge!). When one of their number is found dead, the stakes get higher and higher as the divers have to wait out the slow climb to the surface together in close proximity. It really is a high-pressure read, leaving you breathless at every turn and I found myself racing through the book, unable to put it down. It’s a fantastic setting for a thriller and one that works well for the ‘locked room’ style narrative.

Unfortunately, I had a few niggles with this book that I have not experienced with Will Dean’s work before, but I think it still warrants a 5-star review overall. It can be a little repetitive in places, mainly down to world-building a setting and an industry that not many people know much about and trying to ensure that information is absorbed by the reader. Also, although I loved the rest of the book, the ending felt very rushed and although I enjoyed the conclusion, I didn’t really understand the motivations behind it.

Overall, The Chamber is another hit from Will Dean – a fast-paced, high-pressure thriller in a fantastically unique setting. Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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