Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.
There’s a routine at The Beresford.
For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.
Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him.
In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.
And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.
Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…
Regular readers of this little blog will know that I’m a huge fan of Will Carver’s books, dark though they may be. We had the devilishly clever Good Samaritans with some very unsavoury people (don’t mention the bleach), the extraordinary Nothing Important Happened Today, followed by Hinton Hollow Death Trip in which Carver clearly looked at the dials marked ‘Dark’, ‘Disturbing’ and ‘Weird’, laughed, and promptly whacked them all up to 11. Or possibly beyond.
And now we have The Beresford. What, dear reader, can we say about this book?
You see, the Beresford is a very… odd place, filled with very odd people. And people tend to die a lot in The Beresford, a seemingly harmless old building just , on the edge of town. Well they die once, I suppose, but there are a lot of them…
They don’t all die at the same time, of course. But when one does, and one inevitably does, just wait a minute (literally), and listen for the doorbell to ring.
Carver has an unnerving knack of being able to draw you into his stories, then whacking you over the head with a ‘what just happened?’ moment. And while you’re reeling from that, he’s darted back in and slapped you with a ‘wait, no what??‘, constantly keeping you on your toes.
I read this book, as I have with all of Carver’s books, in a day, soaking up the atmosphere of The Beresford, watching through my fingers as a lot of very unpleasant things happen to the residents of The Beresford, and waiting for the doorbell to ring, wondering who’ll step through the doors next.
And the doorbell always rings.
Superb, as usual. Not for the faint-hearted, as always. Mr Carver, you have a devious mind, and a way with words that keep me coming back.
The Beresford by Will Carver is published by Orenda Books and is out now. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the review copy.