The Hotel by Louise Mumford
6/22/23; 336 pages
The Hotel by Louise Mumford is a highly recommended thriller.
Ten years ago four eighteen-year-old students travel to Ravencliffe,
an abandoned hotel rumored to be haunted on the Welsh coast, but only
three returned. Bex, Leo, Richard, and Oscar go to the hotel and film
themselves exploring the spooky setting. Something happens and Leo
disappears, never to be seen again. The footage they filmed goes on to
become a cult horror movie with a large fan following and an annual
convention for fans, RavenCon.
Since her life-long friend Leo disappeared, Bix has hidden herself away and wants nothing openly to do with fans. However, she does attend the RavenCons just to see what is going on with the fans. It is there, on the tenth anniversary, she learns that Oscar, Richard, and, apparently, herself are going back to Ravencliffe and filming again. She doesn't want to, but a package she receives in the mail guilts her into participating and returning to the setting of her nightmares.
The narrative covers what happened ten years previously during the filming of the original Ravencliffe film that went viral and the current time period during the re-visiting of the movie sight. Mumford does an excellent job capturing the chilling terror in the original cult movie and the behavior of rabid fans, which creates the tension in the anticipation of what may happen in the re-boot. The creepy, apprehensive atmosphere will pull you into the story.
Bix is a sympathetic character and readers will like her. The pace is slow, especially at the start. It eventually picks up, but it does slow down the appreciation of the plot. Keep at it and the mystery is solved, but the writing could have been tightened up a bit the keep a faster pace. I did like the alternating between decades in the narrative to tell the story of the films in both time periods.