The Hotel by Emily Shiner was a mystery filled, pulse pounding thriller perfect to curl up with on a cold winter day and get your blood pumping.

As the characters contend with being snowed in, the reader can take comfort in their own warmth and comfortable surroundings while trying to get to the bottom of all the lies and nefarious things hinted at throughout the course of this novel. It certainly had me captivated, winter weather being nowhere in sight and all, and I found myself flying through the pages, literally unable to stop one I got started.

The atmosphere of this novel was just perfection. I felt like I was in this cold little bed and breakfast trying to stay warm by the fire even amidst the middle of summer weather in reality. When creepy events started taking place, I was spooked, imagining them perfectly and feeling Abby’s terror and unsettled emotions for her son.

I enjoyed the multiple different POVs, and never felt like any one of them seemed entirely unnecessary or like there were too many to switch between which for me isn’t always the case when it comes to thrillers and having more than a couple different viewpoints being told, particularly when it’s a shorter book. Admittedly I didn’t always find the characters likeable, particularly when it came to the secrets they were keeping and the morally questionable things they would do in pursuit of accomplishing their goals, but I was able to get passed this and not focus on it too strongly.

There were a lot of secrets. Which was super intriguing and what kept me flipping through the pages, just wanting to know what everyone was hiding from one another. In my impatience it was also frustrating how well the characters inner monologue skirted away from actually revealing what they knew.

The second half of the book is where things get TENSE. I was stressed out reading it just waiting to see what would happen next. It also has me wondering what the heck was happening, a la so many unanswered questions. In other words, in a good way because my mind was boggled about what was going on and why it would possibly be going the way it was. This is in part, I feel because these characters make for some very unreliable narrators. With all the secrets, with the contrasting events that took place, I felt like I couldn’t trust anything they were saying or doing at times, which made it so difficult to know who and what to believe. This completely made the story. Not knowing who to believe made it fascinating and impossible to turn away from and it sucked me in to the story.

I devoured this book in a day I was so engrossed in it, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised with how much The Hotel sucked me in to its story. I feel like locked room mysteries can go one of two ways, either deeply immersive, or unfortunately boring and lack depth, and The Hotel was definitely the former, knocking the genre out of the park. I highly recommend this read for those looking for a thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, while questioning everything the narrators tell you and turning things completely on their head.


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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