{Book Review} Going Down: Tom G.H. Adams

Going Down: Tom G.H. Adams

Reviewed By Brian Bogart

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (28 Jun. 2019)

Tom Adams has been on my radar for a bit now. I stumbled across some reviews of his on Goodreads, not to mention an interview here on the website (KR: Which you can read here) and Twitter shenanigans. Hey, anyone who can spin a yarn that brings to mind James Herbert’s The Rats (according to a few reviews of “Mycophoria”) is definitely worth a read, I think.

GOING DOWN tells the story of hapless Bram Johnstone, the girl of his dreams, her friend and a terrifying elevator lift ride from Hell. I want to acknowledge a few things:

1. It is quite difficult to spend most of your book in one location- and the majority of this does take place in severely confined quarters. The fact that Adams attempted- much less pulled it off- should be acknowledged.

Below is the synopsis:

Bram Johnstone likes to think he’s a good person. But does a ‘nice guy’ stalk the girl of his dreams? Does he follow her to the library, to university lectures — in fact everywhere — simply to glimpse her shapely curves? To what lengths would he go just to engineer a situation where he’s in close proximity to the fair Maddie — even if only for a couple of precious minutes?

As luck would have it, such an opportunity arises. One evening, Bram finds himself in the same lift as Maddie. On the way up he gets to observe her, smell her perfume, even talk to her…

But dreams can turn from sour to putrid. The lift malfunctions and becomes stranded between two floors of the eighty storey student block — and something very large lands on the lift roof. Something that slobbers and snarls. Something that eats students.

Whatever it is, the thing isn’t operating alone. Over the emergency intercom, a tormentor makes himself known, someone who directs and orchestrates the murderous intents of the thing that’s made planetfall on the students’ little world.

As the minute’s tick by on a countdown that can only end with them becoming meat for this murderous pair, Bram discovers that when it comes to stalking — he’s just an amateur.

2. Given the first part of the synopsis, I was expecting- or fearing- a leering and sleazy main character, similar to some of the protagonists in old school Laymon novels. While it begins in a similar fashion with his “innocent” stalker lead-in, the author thankfully fleshes out the character enough and doesn’t linger too heavily in that territory.

(After all, it’s WAY more interesting to introduce a hulking and grotesque monster into the mix- and even if Bram had leaned in that direction and never developed, the gropings of the creature and its master are the real stars of the show. For that, I am glad. As much as I enjoy Laymon, I feel I’m drowning in it lately with my rereads.)

3. Sometimes, less is more. That’s all fine and good. But with this one, I was glad of a few well-described, graphic scenes. (Otherwise, it would be 70 pages in an elevator shaft with not much else. Yikes.) The handling of the strained relationship of the antagonists was well done, too. I really enjoyed the flashbacks and history as the book approaches the final act- it makes you feel sad as well as terrified for the monster. Sympathetic evil- with a ferocious appetite that negates all that in the blink of an eye.

4. Speaking of flashbacks, I do think my favorite part (not filled with suspense or gore, anyway) are those of the helpless captives. Their backstories tied well into their fears and motivations, helping to explain more than they were willing to share amongst themselves inside the sweltering, confined space of the elevator.

GOING DOWN is a quick read, so if I shared much more- I’d give it away. 

Adams’ prose has a chance to shine in a few key spots, too. It may be a tad predictable for certain tastes, but overall it’s a decent romp for those who enjoy little creature features. Just like those Saturday afternoon monster matinees, I grew up with.

You could take the stairs if you had wanted to…

But the lift doors are already shut.

There’s the heavy thud of someone-or something- moving above you.

And it sounds hungry.

Going Down

Bram Johnstone likes to think he’s a good person. But does a ‘nice guy’ stalk the girl of his dreams? Does he follow her to the library, to university lectures — in fact everywhere — simply to glimpse her shapely curves? To what lengths would he go just to engineer a situation where he’s in close proximity to the fair Maddie — even if only for a couple of precious minutes?

As luck would have it, such an opportunity arises. One evening, Bram finds himself in the same lift as Maddie. On the way up he gets to observe her, smell her perfume, even talk to her. There are a few flies in the ointment of this gift scenario, however. The object of his affections is accompanied by a friend. To add to Bram’s irritation, the most available babe-magnet on campus muscles in on the lift threesome and imposes his well-honed chat-up lines on Maddie. Funny how your dreams can turn sour in an instant.

But dreams can turn from sour to putrid. The lift malfunctions and becomes stranded between two floors of the eighty storey student block — and something very large lands on the lift roof. Something that slobbers and snarls. Something that eats students.

Whatever it is, the thing isn’t operating alone. Over the emergency intercom, a tormentor makes himself known, someone who directs and orchestrates the murderous intents of the thing that’s made planetfall on the students’ little world.

As the minutes tick by on a countdown that can only end with them becoming meat for this murderous pair, Bram discovers that when it comes to stalking — he’s just an amateur.

From the author of ‘The Psychonaut’ trilogy and ‘Mycophoria’, comes a novella of breath-taking intensity. Just when you thought the lift was ascending, it ends up plunging further down into your deepest nightmare.

After reading this book you’ll probably want to take the stairs.

You can buy Going Down from Amazon UKAmazon US

Brian Bogart

Brian Bogart is an American author, residing in Northern Ireland. His love of genre fiction started at an early age, consuming every horror and fantasy book available. He has been published in various degrees online and contributed a short fiction piece, “TOCSIN”, to The One Million Project (OMP) Thriller Anthology in an effort to raise money for cancer research and the homeless. He loves to share his enthusiasm for the horror genre with others and help promote other authors.

His latest story, alongside many other authors, can be found in the pages of EPIC FANTASY SHORT STORIES, coming soon from Flame Tree Publishing.

Purchase OMP THRILLER here: Amazon UK

Preorder EPIC FANTASY SHORT STORIES anthology here: Flame Tree Press

Twitter @DreamsDarkly

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Official Blog https://www.dreamdarklyblog.wordpress.com

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