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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Hotel

Narrators: Lauryn Allman, John Chancer Hachette UK - Bookouture


Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 09/07/2023

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)


As we welcome the Rowe family to our beautiful clifftop hotel, a shadow passes over my husband’s face. In that moment I see it: my husband is hiding a terrible secret. Has he put us all in danger?

Mark and I pride ourselves on giving visitors to our hotel, high on the rugged Maine cliffs with views of the ocean, a vacation they won’t forget. But the Rowes are strangely over-familiar when they arrive with their teenage daughter. The wife puts a hand on Mark’s forearm and her husband meets my eyes with a knowing look as I hold my little son tight. They gush that they loved their previous stay here… But I’m certain I’ve never seen them before.

Mark reassures me that the Rowes are just being friendly. We have so many visitors, maybe we forgot meeting them. When I am locked in the master bedroom for over an hour, he later soothes my panic and says it was just an accident. But I know one of the Rowes was out in the hallway listening to me cry for help. I hear one of them whispering a lullaby to my baby on his monitor. I cannot trust these people.

But as the relentless icy rain gives way to the biggest blizzard of the season and we become cut off, I realize my son and I are trapped. Mark knows more about the Rowes than he’s letting on. I’ll do anything to protect my gorgeous baby boy. But how far will I have to go, to keep him safe?

The Hotel is totally twisty locked room thriller that you won’t be able to put down. Fans of Shalini Boland, Freida McFadden and Jeneva Rose will be glued to the pages!

My Review


The queen of revenge plots, Emily Shiner, returns following The Husband's Secret and The Wife In the Photo with her latest twisty locked-room thriller, THE HOTEL —Welcome to The Saltside Inn, Oyster Maine! A romantic secluded cliffside getaway, a gorgeous inn with four towering stories of catwalks, decks, windows, and spectacular ocean views!

The perfect getaway or the perfect trap?

THE HOTEL is another tantalizing, beguiling thriller —from suspicious guests and a cat-and-mouse dangerous game between husband and wife, with surprising wicked twists.

Abby and Mark Hardy own a Bed and Breakfast hotel, The Saltside Inn is located on a remote cliffside in Oyster, Maine. overlooking the ocean. The views are incredible, and the home is enormous. The B&B was Abby's dream. Her other dream was to have a baby, which took forever. They now have Henry, the adorable baby boy, now a toddler. Mark supplements their income by being the local handyman in the area.

It is cold and wintery, with snowstorms and blizzards expected. The winters are brutal. It is a slower season, and the revenue is down, so Abby posts a special. She also has something up her sleeve—a secret plan. Nothing can stop her now!

Told from POVs:

Abby (owner/wife)

Mark (owner/husband)

Lottie (guest/wife)

Chelsea (guest/teen daughter)

She is delighted when she gets a booking from Lottie Rowe. It will be Lottie, her husband, Tim, and their daughter, Chelsea. They want to stay three weeks and renting out the entire inn! Abby is thrilled. They have paid, and Abby is excited and prepares for their arrival.

Mark has secrets

Abby has secrets

Lottie has secrets.

Chelesa has secrets.

Tim has secrets.

Abby suspects Mark is having an affair. He has changed his phone password, so how will she spy? He is handsome, and women swoon over him. She has a plan. She worked hard to get her little boy, and nothing will get in her way.

In the meantime, Mark is being blackmailed and running scared. He does not share this with Abby. She never has to know. He thinks he can work it out. But the blackmailer is closing in.

However, when the guests arrive, it does not go as expected. Bad things start happening. They are snowed and locked in with virtual strangers taking over their home. Being secluded was part of the charm when they purchased the inn, but not so much now. Someone is watching.

Claustrophobic and creepy! The baby monitor goes missing and someone has removed the batteries. Things are moved and misplaced. Someone puts Henry outside in the freezing snowstorm. What is going on? She has to cook the meals because no one can get out in this snowstorm. (The cliffside scene had me holding my breath!).

Then, someone tampers with their vehicles. Abby gets locked in. The power goes out. Abby must get rid of these people. Abby trusts no one, not even her husband. How could her plan go so wrong? Someone is evil. Her plan is not going as anticipated.

Someone will die before the three weeks are over. Someone is running out of time. Who will walk away with what they want?

There is more than one with a plan seeking revenge, and they will stop at nothing until they WIN! Who is in control? Shocking, suspenseful, with clever twists and an abundance of hidden secrets, will keep you guessing until the end! This is like a scary game of survival!

Shiner cleverly weaves another entertaining, twisted tale of love, greed, deceit, revenge, obsession, and betrayal. Prey or predator? One character is trying to beat the other. THE HOTEL has red herrings and twists galore; you will find yourself switching allegiances from one moment to the next, and you still won’t guess the ending.

The remote cliffside setting, the brutal snowstorm, the wild stormy seas, and rocks make for a creepy, claustrophobic setting added to the locked-room trapped owners and guests. Who is the bad guy/gal?

All the characters are bad, flawed, evil—(except little Henry). Compulsive and absorbing, a fast-paced, intriguing, and binge-worthy thriller. As always, a final jaw-dropping twist.

For fans of K.L. Slater, Freida McFadden's Do Not Disturb, and Miranda Rijks' The Visitors, and The Lodge.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Sept 7, 2023

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Narrated by Lauryn Allman & John Chancer


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About the Author

Emily Shiner grew up in Western North Carolina, and after going to college in Charlotte, returned to her beloved mountains to write novels that keep you up at night. She lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, menagerie of chickens, and tens of thousands of bees. When not writing, she’s reading, hiking, or drinking copious amounts of tea while daydreaming about fall.

Connect with Emily

Check out my fun Elevator Q&A Ride Interview with Emily and HER HUSBAND'S SECRET.

We go behind the book & the author!



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