While Under The Night does have some merit, the novel is hindered by a number of issues.
The greatest of these is the double-perspective narrative itself. It quickly becomes clear that Ned's narrative is far more interesting than Ray's. This is compounded by the fact that Ray as a character feels forced and underdeveloped, and ultimately serves as more of a tool to unspool Ned's story than anything else.
As the novel approaches its end, Ray's chapters become a major hindrance, and end up feeling like a distraction from the main event.
Other characters in the novel also suffer from poor development...That isn't to say that Under The Night is all bad. The novel is sometimes gripping and there is an appeal to Ned's chapters.
Unfortunately, much of the enjoyment is dulled by frustrating plot developments, poor characters and a challenging narrative technique.
Under the Night is a wild ride through history’s back channels, as Ned encounters Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Dylan Thomas, and winds up in the remote heart of the Pacific watching the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb... Shot through with Glynn’s leitmotif of justifiable paranoia, it’s a tantalising tale of what-ifs and could-have-beens as Ned and Ray separately piece together an appalling account of a “deep state” manipulation of the American public on a staggering scale.