Tuesday 28 November 2023

Upstairs At The Beresford by Will Carver BLOG TOUR #UpstairsattheBeresford @will_ carver @OrendaBooks #BookReview #CarverCult #NoPlaceLikeHome


There are worse places than hell…

 Hotel Beresford is a grand, old building, just outside the city. And any soul is welcome.

 Danielle Ortega works nights, singing at whatever dive bar will offer her a gig. She gets by, keeping to herself. Sam Walker gambles and drinks, and can't keep his hands to himself. Now he's tied up in a shoe closet with a dent in his head that matches Danielle's broken ashtray. 

 The man in 731 has been dead for two days and his dog has not stopped barking. Two doors down, the couple who always smokes on the window ledge will mysteriously fall.

 Upstairs, in the penthouse, Mr Balliol sees it all. He can peer into every crevice of every floor of the hotel from his screen-filled suite. He witnesses humanity and inhumanity in all its forms: loneliness, passion and desperation in equal measure. All the ingredients he needs to make a deal. 

 When Danielle returns home one night to find Sam gone, a series of sinister events begins to unfold. But strange things often occur at Hotel Beresford, and many are only a distraction to hide something much, much darker…

Upstairs At The Beresford by Will Carver was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 9 November 2023. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour 

As much as I adore Will Carver and his extraordinary books, he is that one author who makes me reconsider my aim to review every book that I read. It's not often that I'm lost for words, but Carver often silences me with his often grotesque, but always perfectly formed characters. Upstairs At The Beresford is a prequel of sorts. For anyone who entered the doors of The Beresford in his 2021 novel of the same name, this is a enrapturing look at how that place came to be. Do not worry if this is the first time that you've checked into the Beresford though, it's also a fabulous stand-alone story. 

When you open a novel by Will Carver you know just what to expect whilst also not knowing anything at all. His unique take on life, people, communities - the good, the evil and the lost and lonely is absolutely stunning. The reader may recoil when reading some passages, whilst others will leave a lump in the throat. This is real life, but Carver style. 

The Beresford sits outside the city, it could be any city; New York, London, Birmingham, Toronto, any of those. Everyone is welcome to take a room here. The manager, Carol, will not turn you away, but she will know everything there is to know about you, she will know if you sold your soul, and she will know if you did it for yourself, or to save someone else. Carol has been at The Beresford for more years than even she can remember, she runs a tight ship. She's adept in clearing away bodies, and bodily fluid and sometimes she also makes them reappear again. 

Carver has created a cast of residents staying in the Beresford, from the innocent and good Odie and his dysfunctional parents, to the soulful Danielle who flits about seeing everything and nothing, to the man in the penthouse who everyone is beholden to. 

There is so much to take away from this book. Carver's look at the toxicity that seems to rule the world, the destruction of our planet and the selfish greed and arrogance of man is just on the nail. He cleverly weaves these observations into the narrative, it never sounds preachy, it's also perfectly aligned to the character voice. 

So much happens in this trip to the Beresford, too much to detail in a review, but be warned, there are things that will stick in your mind and cast a black mark on your soul ...... if you haven't already sold it that is. 

Once more, the genius that is Will Carver has produced a novel that is laced with dark black humour, alongside characters who will haunt your dreams. This guy is so slick, so devilishly clever. The book is both horrific and gentle, an ode to humanity, and beyond.  Highly recommended. 

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. 

He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. 
He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. 
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. 

His title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express.

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