Going Up by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

UP
Going Up by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Horror, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (46 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Some secrets should remain hidden.

Investigative journalist Beckett Hayes hopes a stay at a Caribbean resort is just what she needs to recharge her batteries. But mysterious clanging in the night doesn’t let her get much rest. Outside her hotel room, she finds an overgrown, seemingly abandoned elevator leading up the hill. The hotel staff insists the elevator hasn’t worked in years, but Beckett can’t shake the feeling they’re hiding something. Sensing a story, she’s determined to find out the truth. But will she be alive to tell it when she finds out what awaits her at the top of the hill?

How curious is too curious? Is it always a good idea to dig to the bottom of a mystery?

After being fired for making a dumb mistake at work, Beckett decides to take a long-overdue vacation in order to clear her mind and begin writing a great American novel but little does she know what awaits her at the center of paradise. Luckily Beckett knows how to quickly make intelligent, resourceful decisions as the plot thickens. While the rest of the resort guests dance and eat what sounds like incredibly delicious food she pays close attention to her surroundings and quickly learns who she can and cannot trust. Beckett’s inquisitive, even-tempered personality is perfect for this case and she’s exactly the kind of person I’d want to have around when inexplicable things begin to happen.

I was confused by Beckett’s decision to travel alone internationally without packing a cellphone, though, especially since she thought to bring her laptop with her. Even the safest tourist destination can be struck by a natural disaster, outbreak of a communicable disease or other unexpected calamity and it seemed odd to me that she would fail to take such a basic safety precaution. In an emergency the cost of calling or texting out of the country is worth it in order to keep in touch with loved ones and send and receive valuable information. I was also puzzled by her decision to pursue more information about what was really happening at the resort without telling friends or family what was happening first. Her single act of communication with the outside world was vague and didn’t seem to blend in well with her identity as a sophisticated, single professional. Surely anyone who travels alone would be more accustomed to keeping loved ones informed of what is actually happening on the road!

Poor decisions aside this was a well-paced story that tantalized me with subtle clues about what was really going on from the very beginning. Because Beckett’s first few encounters with the mystery of the island happen after she’s sampled rum punch I wasn’t sure how much I could rely on her understanding until the truth was slowly revealed.

Going Up really ought to have a sequel written for it one day. In the meantime I recommend it for anyone in the mood for a sun-soaked getaway that may not be exactly what it appears to be at first glance.

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