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The Beresford by Will Carver

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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The Beresford by Will Carver is published with Orenda Books and is described as ‘eerie, dark, superbly twisted and majestically plotted, the stunning standalone thriller from one of crime fiction’s most exciting names’. If you have already been lucky enough to experience a Will Carver novel then you know that you are about to enter a very strange and disconcerting world.

Will Carver will always take me beyond my comfort zone and, with The Beresford, he has done it again. I don’t normally ‘do’ horror, and The Beresford is a truly dark and extremely twisted tale, but I make an exception for Will Carver. In a Will Carver book there are always very well-crafted and intelligent observations scattered throughout reflecting, I assume, his own personal frustrations with the way we live today.

Mrs. May is the doyenne of The Beresford, a building that has sat for generations witnessing the comings and goings of many tenants, all with a different story to tell. Nobody knows her age. Nobody knows how long she has lived there. The only thing they know is that she never leaves the building. She has a strict routine. She offers extremely affordable accommodation and asks few questions of those who move in. But The Beresford is no ordinary building….

“The Beresford was old. It was grand. It evolved with the people who inhabited its rooms and apartments. It was dark and elephantine and it breathed with its people. Paint peeled and there were cracks in places. It was bricks and mortar and plaster and wood. And it was alive.”

Tenants come and go at an alarming pace but it’s the going that is so very very strange. People die in The Beresford. People are murdered in The Beresford. Bodies are disposed of and the cycle continues. The doorbell rings for a new arrival and a body has to be removed within sixty seconds, always sixty seconds. What is The Beresford? Who is Mrs. May?

Without fail every prospective tenant arrives at The Beresford with a dream. We get an insight into their character, their personal ambitions and their back story. As time passes we see their disappointments, their frustrations and their failures and, in most cases, we witness their death.

“Why she could feel herself changing. What was so special about that building? What did Mrs May know? How long had it been happening for? Who the hell was she becoming?”

It is strange picking up a book knowing in advance that most of the characters will face an untimely death but the absolute beauty of Will Carver’s writing is that you know that there will be so much more to discover. Reading a Will Carver book is a journey and along the way, the reader will be taken down various paths, discovering a little bit about themselves and the world they live in along the way. It’s almost like a mirror is being put in front of us, exposing our obsession with perfection and ambition, our desire to be accepted and loved and the price we are willing to pay to succeed.

The Beresford reminds me of a Hitchcock thriller with a very modern twist. An old boarding house. A strange landlady. Tenants all with a story to tell. Shadows. Death. Darkness. Evil…. All the ingredients for a dark, noir and frankly scary movie.

Not for the faint of heart, The Beresford is another highly intelligent and strong novel from this ingenious of writers. Will Carver has literally carved himself a niche in the literary world that is uniquely his own and to be honest, at this point I think we need a specific genre created just for him.

The Beresford is gruesome. The Beresford is discombobulating. The Beresford is shocking. The Beresford is downright malevolent and extremely disturbing. The Beresford is addictive. The Beresford is original.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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