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 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 is a dark, original story following various guests at the notorious Hotel Beresford. There’s quite the mix of characters – some are likeable whilst some are, quite frankly, despicable! But, regardless of whether I’d want to hang out with – or even give the time of day to – some of these characters, they are fascinating to read about, and author Will Carver does a great job of digging deep into their troubled minds… I don’t think I agree with the way any of the characters behaved, but I enjoyed reading about them all!
The humour is dark and there are some shocking moments. The book addresses many topics – it digs into the greedy, selfish nature of so many people and the way we are slowly (or not so slowly!) destroying our planet, plus much more. It’s easy to blast through as the writing is engaging and though there’s some supernatural elements to the plot, it didn’t feel too much – most of the book is rooted in reality.
I haven’t read the sequel, The Beresford, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of this crazy tale! However, I do now want to read it and see what happens after the events in Upstairs… If you enjoy reading about fundamentally flawed and often quite awful characters, like I do, then give this a go. It’s dark and unsettling but great fun too!
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to Orenda for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.