Book review: Hotel Alpha, by Mark Watson
This unique book by Mark Watson tells the story of Hotel Alpha, a fictional hotel in London, over the decades from its opening through to the unravelling of the intertwined and complex tales of both guests and owners.
Told from the viewpoints of Graham - the ever-loyal concierge - and Chas - the son of the owner - we get sucked in to life at the Alpha. For both of them, the hotel is their entire world, but for different reasons. From the ostentatious doors, through the vast lobby, and into the smoking room (later the IT Suite), we see, hear and smell the decadence. We become used to Graham's unwavering sense of duty and his unquestioning loyalty.
But there are stories behind the success of the Alpha; stories Howard York (the owner) does not want us to know. Strange things, it seems, happen in this hotel, but over the years the loose ends begin to unravel and cause Graham and Chas to think more carefully about their worlds.
This tale imaginatively continues online, with a hundred more short stories told from the perspectives of the guests and others who receive only a brief mention in the book itself. Of course, we can never be sure which version of events is correct, and only the reader can decide what will happen to the guests, the staff and the hotel.
Hotel Alpha, by Mark Watson, is published by PanMacmillan and is available from their website.
Disclosure: Pan Macmillan sent me this book to keep for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own.